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Head of Indonesia RIM a suspect in BlackBerry brawl

Head of Indonesia RIM a suspect in BlackBerry brawl

Anyone afraid of more ugly news after Research in Motion’s no good, very bad week probably should click over here—because the Jakarta police have implicated Canadian Andrew Cobham, RIM’s president director in Indonesia, and RIM security consultant Terry Burkey in the mayhem over a BlackBerry sale that left dozens of people unconscious and several injured two weeks ago.

The Jakarta Globe has the story:


On Nov. 25, at least 90 people fainted and three were injured as thousands of people broke through a barrier at Pacific Place mall to buy the latest BlackBerry, the Bold 9790, which was selling at a deep discount to the first 1,000 customers. Baharuddin said that Cobham should have anticipated that the event would attract a huge crowd, and he criticized RIM officials for causing confusion by changing the rules during the event. He said buyers were told they needed a red bracelet from the organizer to buy the phone, but that RIM officials decided to abandon that plan without adequately informing people. As a result, some members of the crowd were outraged when they saw people buying a phone without a bracelet.

The brouhaha further strained relations with Indonesia’s communications and information ministry, which plans to sit RIM down later this month to hear an explanation and discuss other demands. RIM has fulfilled several requirements in order to do business in the country, but it’s still under pressure to build a data centre and allow the government to intercept BlackBerry Messenger and wiretap suspects. In a ministerial “told you so,” spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto told AFP, “A company should not promote its products without considering safety. We already knew how big this could be, considering Indonesia is one of BlackBerry’s largest markets....Before the event, we expressed our concerns that this might happen through the media.”

RIM Indonesia Chief Named a Suspect After BlackBerry Event Chaos [The Jakarta Globe]Two More People Named as Suspects in BlackBerry Stampede, including RIM Employee [The Jakarta Globe]RIM Indonesia chief named suspect in BlackBerry chaos [AFP]Government asks RIM to open access to wiretap BlackBerry users [The Jakarta Post]

(Images: BlackBerry, Cheon Fong Liew; crowd, TheBigTouffe; jail cell, Casey Serin)

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