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Undocumented Indonesian arrested for killing and eating a dog

Photos provided to police by animal rights activists
James Hyams
Written by James Hyams

Police have honored their pledge and to hunt down an Indonesian migrant worker, who is the chief culprit responsible for hanging a Jindo dog by the neck from a forklift, setting it on fire and then eating it.

Investigators confirmed Thursday that they have arrested Santoso Wahyudi, a 28-year-old Indonesian migrant chiefly responsible for killing the dog and posting the photos on Facebook.

Police have honored their pledge to hunt down the chief culprit responsible for hanging a Jindo dog by the neck from a forklift, setting it on fire and then eating it.

Investigators confirmed Thursday that they have arrested Santoso Wahyudi, a 28-year-old Indonesian migrant chiefly responsible for killing the dog and posting the photos on Facebook.

These photos gained the attention of animal welfare groups in Korea who took screenshots of the culprit’s Facebook profiles.

Nami Kim, among other animal welfare activists, reported the hanging of this dog to the police last week and sent them the photographic evidence.

Police initially tried to check the Facebook profiles of the suspects but they had been deactivated and the culprits had used fake names.

The four investigators from Naju police’s Intellectual Crime Investigation Division were in charge of the manhunt and Naju police’s support team provided assistance.

One of the photos uploaded to Facebook showed a truck registration plate attached to a business.

Investigators traced the truck to a business located in Dongsu, Naju in South Jeolla Province, which used to hire Wahyudi.

The now defunct company informed the police that Wahyudi would likely be working at Bonghwang Agricultural and Industrial Complex in Naju.

Police continued their investigation and interviewed people at the complex who informed police that they could find him nearby.

Wahyudi was hiding in his house preparing to leave the country after the story of him killing the Jindo dog went viral.

A police official in charge of the case said they would follow the same investigation procedure if provided with evidence that Koreans had uploaded illegal animal slaughter to social media.

“It is very unlikely for Korean men to photograph those images and post them on social media. If anyone does this, it is a clear breach of the law and the police must act on it”
“It is very unlikely for Korean men to photograph those images and post them on social media. If anyone does this, it is a clear breach of the law and the police must act on it.”

The Director of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) AJ Garcia disputes that Korean men do not upload animal cruelty videos to social media.

“People upload stuff [like that]. We’ve seen Korean military personnel posting videos of themselves punching dogs. There was also a high school kid who uploaded a video of himself kicking a dog or cat. Every time we have a case like this and it is a Korean person, nothing ever comes of it. There are no charges filed. The person does not get arrested.”

Garcia has worked “very closely” with Korean people investigating the dog meat industry and has seen video footage of Korean men hanging dogs in the same manner as the two Indonesian migrant workers, which is illegal.

“It is a Korean law. If foreigners have to abide by it so do the Koreans. Why not prosecute Korean people when they hang dogs or burn dogs alive?”

Under the Animal Protection Act, violators of the law are subject to a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,995) or a maximum prison term of 1 year if they kill animals in a cruel way, including hanging them.

Under the same law, up to a 3 million won fine may be issued to those who film, sale, distribute or post the videos or images of an animal being tortured, killed in a public place or die out of starvation on the Internet.

The official said the media would likely be exempt from being punished for publishing such videos and images for the public’s interests.

He warned netizens and animal activists that they may face criminal charges if they post them on social media or the Internet where some people find those appalling images too graphic and offensive.

While interrogating the suspect, police learnt that he had an expired work permit.

Wahyudi came to Korea in 2008. His visa expired in April 2013.

Police said that once their investigation is over, they will hand Wahyudi to immigration and take appropriate action regarding his overstay.

“The punishment can be heavier as the violation of Immigration law will be added while prosecuting [him],” animal rights activist Nami Kim said.

“I hope this case will serve as a good example, a warning to all the migrant workers to ensure nothing like this can happen again,” she added.

As of Thursday Kim’s change.org petition, to get the two men responsible for killing the dog prosecuted, has been signed just over 8,000 times.

“Let’s make the target 30,000, this will be sent to the prosecutors office,” Kim said.

You can sign this petition here https://www.change.org/p/petition-charge-the-two-indonesian-workers-in-south-korea-for-hanging-and-barbequing-a-dog

Tae-hoon Lee contributed to this article.

1. Migrant workers face charges for killing dog in Korea

2. Former pets slaughtered for dog meat across Korea

3. Addressing readers reactions to the dog meat industry in Korea

About the author

James Hyams

James Hyams

James Hyams juggles several careers including being a journalist and a social worker. James has an avid interest in 'telling it as it is', exposing matters of public interest, and reviving investigative journalism in the new digital era. Testimony to this is his thesis titled: “U.S. Government secrecy and the withering watchdog: Is WikiLeaks the answer?”

  • John

    I don’t understand the direction/implication of this article.

    Is it supposed to point out the discriminative manner in which the Indonesian perpetrator is being prosecuted as opposed to if the crime had been committed by a Korean (see AJ Garcia comment)? Or it is simply condemning the terrible act and encouraging this – by the way highly questionable – internet petition?
    This is a case for criminal prosecution, not internet petitioning.

    • James

      Need to give a fair and balanced perspective, which means covering all angles from key stakeholders.

      • rebeccadrellermayo

        No such thing as “fair and balanced” perspective in a case of an innocent being tortured and mutilated by some evil shitbag who should be shot between the eyes. There isn’t two sides to a story when the bottom line is: Cruelty, torture and pain vs. illegal acts. Where’s the fair and balanced perspective in that? To even imply that there is fairness in perspective is vomit inducing. As a writer myself, I get the “down the middle” approach of a written story and it’s not supposed to be narrative. HOWEVER, that is tantamount to a journalist giving two perspectives to the slaughtering, torturous, human rights stomping Chinese military in Tibet. There really is NOT two sides. There is murdering, evil shitbags vs. innocent people of Tibet. Period. It’s OKAY to be a biased writer, it shows you have a backbone and want to give people the REAL truth, not the “media” truth.

        • James

          @rebeccadrellermayo:disqus This article, as you read, is on the arrest not the killing of the dog. The fair and balanced perspective is not on the act of hanging the Jindo dog by the neck, it is about giving all stakeholders a right to reply to this arrest. In this case, that is Korean animal welfare groups (Nami Kim), expat animal welfare groups (AJ Garcia), the police who investigated this case, and Indonesian contact who provided some background info. It is not okay to be a biased writer although everyone exercises in setting the news agenda and in their writing. If I could interview the arrested perpetrator I would. Who knows, maybe someone else told him to do it which doesn’t excuse him but adds more information and can lead to finding the entire truth.

          • rebeccadrellermayo

            Yep, you’re right. I myself am a biased writer, but that’s my job as I work for an animal rights organization. I am biased, big time, and I own it. Yes, I was wrong to needle you for writing an unbiased account of the facts. But I think with my heart first and not my head, and that’s what makes me a very effective activist. It’s a very good thing that I don’t have the ability to kill people using my thoughts because most of the shitbags who beat, slaughter, torture, and cause immense suffering to ANY living being would be dead. I’m not sure unbiased writing truly exists though because writing is meant to evoke feelings and perpetuate a deeper thought of the topic being written about. So I would challenge all of my Lit profs and fellow writers who state otherwise. Now…..if you can follow my hopscotch of emotions and statements, you’re gooooood 🙂

          • James

            I follow your thought process. You are passionate, which is great. Some advice to take or leave: I find people overly passionate one-sided writers scare off the fence-sitters, who are often the majority. Be careful that you are not writing passionately to a confirmed minority at the cost of the majority.

  • Kyrei

    Are people’s attention spans so low that we need a separate paragraph for each fucking sentence? #JustSayin

  • http://www.pdxcurrency.net/ Carl Mullan

    Great article James, but it still sounds like we should do more. I hope they will stay with the prosecution as we will stay on the petition and the exposure. Good job, Mr. Hyams, however I feel more must be done.

  • TrueBlue73

    Got to get tough on ALL animal abuse perpetrators. Maximum penalty allowed under the law!

  • Darren Isaac Gove

    It’s great people feel so strongly about animal abuse. I only wish these feelings extended to livestock as well.

    • rebeccadrellermayo

      What makes you think it DOESN’T ?

  • Jordan

    Such a double standard, oh yes they will prosecute this foreigner to the full extent of the law, but what about every other animal abuse case in Korea that involves a Korean person? I have seen so many documented incidences in which a dog is tied up in this very same fashion and killed and nothing has ever been done about it. There’s a reason the people at Moran Meat Market don’t allow people to take pictures or videos, dogs are routinely beaten or strangled to death and all the police would need to do is go there themselves in plain clothes and they would be able to see it for themselves. The chances of something like that happening are slim to none as the police are far too busy being babysitters for drunk people. When a country’s citizens are safe from reprisal then who is to stop them from doing whatever they want?

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