Police have arrested the founder of a traditional market in Depok, West Java where trade was conducted in dinar and dirham coins.
Zaim Said, 60, was arrested on Tuesday evening on suspicion of facilitating the illegal trading scheme, the National Police confirmed today.
Under Indonesian law, trade transactions carried out in the state’s jurisdiction must be done with the official currency rupiah. Violation of the law is an offense punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to IDR200 million (US$14,255).
The police have not outlined specific charges against Zaim.
According to witnesses, Zaim recently founded the traditional market, named Pasar Muamalah, where traders could exchange Islamic goods for dinar and dirham coins, as well as via a barter system, the idea being that trade was to be conducted in as close a manner as possible as in the days of the Prophet Muhammad. The market was situated at shophouses Zaim owned, and was open every two weeks on Sundays from 7am to 11am.
News about the market soon spread nationwide, igniting concerns amid the rise of religious conservatism in Indonesia in recent years. On the other side of the coin, the government has quashed some major Islamic fundamentalist groups, including the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which have earned them the ire of religious conservatives and accusations of Islamophobia.