Watampone - RA, a woman residing in Watampone who had experienced skin issues after using a cosmetic handbody lotion product owned by RE in Bone, filed a complaint with the Bone Police Resort regarding her ordeal in June of this year as the victim party.
The complaint was submitted through her legal representative and was followed up by the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Unit of the Bone Police Resort, with Information Report Number: LI/52/VI/RES.4.3/2023, dated June 20, 2023, and Investigation Order Number: Sp.Lidik/52/VI/Res.4.3/2023, also dated June 20, 2023.
"The essence of my Complaint is related to the alleged Criminal Act of Distributing Cosmetic Products that Do Not Meet the Standards, Safety, Efficacy, and Quality, as stipulated in Article 196 of Law Number 36 of 2009 concerning Health," said RA.
However, she expressed deep disappointment with the performance of the investigators from the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Unit of the Bone Police Resort because her report could not progress from the Investigation phase to the Criminal Investigation phase, with the reason being that no criminal activity had been found.
This was conveyed by the Bone Police Resort investigators through a Notice of Investigation Termination, numbered B/130/VIII/RES.4.3/2023, dated August 21, 2023, which was received by the complainant on August 23, 2023.
In light of the investigation's termination, RA submitted a Letter of Objection as well as a Request for Justice to the Chief of the Bone Police Resort, who is also the superior officer of the investigators, and sent correspondences to the South Sulawesi Regional Police Chief, National Police Headquarters, and the National Police Commission, requesting that a special case hearing be conducted.
RA stated that the handling of this case has undermined her sense of justice as the complainant, prompting her to take legal action to ensure that this case is reevaluated and supervised by top police authorities.
"I believe that the actions taken by the investigators handling this case appear to be rushed, leading me to conclude that the investigators did not find any criminal elements or criminal events," she explained.
According to her, to close the case, investigators should have involved legal experts and experts in the field of health or cosmetics, including BPOM (Food and Drug Monitoring Agency). Moreover, there was prior evidence provided by the complainant to the investigators in the form of clear Laboratory Test Results showing the presence of Hydroquinone and Mercury in the cosmetic product.
"In this situation, investigators should have involved at least two expert witnesses to provide their statements so that the investigators could determine whether the criminal elements were met or not. So far, investigators did not engage two expert witnesses," RA expressed with disappointment.
What further disappointed and concerned the complainant was the investigators' inability to produce Laboratory Test Results from their examination at the Labfor Polda regarding the product. When questioned, they gave inconsistent statements, and there was a lack of transparency in handling the case.
"At times, investigators claimed that the Lab Test results were negative, while at other times, they stated that there were still traces but met the requirements. This raises significant questions – what is happening? I hope there is no foul play involved, and that the investigation is conducted professionally," she concluded.
Based on Regulation of the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency Number 17 of 2022 concerning Amendments to Regulation of the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency Number 23 of 2019 concerning Technical Requirements for Cosmetic Ingredients, it is explicitly stated that the inclusion of Hydroquinone and Mercury in cosmetic ingredients is NOT ALLOWED.
"In essence, as a member of the public, my hope is for justice and legal certainty. We should not wait for more victims before taking similar cases seriously. If police investigators halt reports like this, where else can the public turn for help other than to the police?" concluded the woman, who is also involved in social and humanitarian work.