a person looking at the camera: Indonesian YouTuber Ferdian Paleka arrested. Photo: Istimewa Indonesian YouTuber Ferdian Paleka arrested. Photo: Istimewa

Ferdian Paleka was finally arrested early this morning following almost a week of pursuit, police say, after the YouTuber evaded authorities over his hugely controversial transphobic video that was taken in Bandung.

Police say Ferdian, who had dyed his hair black and shaved his mustache, was arrested on the Jakarta-Merak toll road in Tangerang at 1am today along with a man who is reportedly his uncle.

“The suspects are being taken to the Special Crimes Division at the West Java Police,” Bandung Police Crime Investigation Unit Head Galih Indragiri told the media today, as quoted by Republika.

Police previously arrested two of Ferdian’s accomplices who also appeared in the video, one of whom was handed over to the authorities by his mother.

Ferdian was charged with online defamation under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), which carries a maximum four year prison sentence, as well as deliberately breaking the law and bringing harm to others, which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison under the same law.

The viral video, which made the rounds earlier this week, shows Ferdian and his two accomplices preparing bricks and rotten bean sprouts inside instant noodle boxes before giving them away to unsuspecting transwomen. The men were visibly delighted after having pulled the prank, with Ferdian going some steps further to antagonize the public by uploading a fake apology video and then promising to upload a real apology video if he gained 30 thousand followers.

In the fake apology video, Ferdian laughed as he said, “I personally would like to apologize for what I’ve done … not.” Following his arrest, a policeman from the West Java Police posted a video on Instagram of someone mocking Ferdian, saying, “You will soon be freed … not.” However, that video has been taken down despite its copies going viral on various social media platforms. 

This article, Prank over as YouTuber Ferdian Paleka arrested for handing out fake groceries to transwomen, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. 

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