Police to charge RIM Indonesia CEO over stampede at Bold 9790 event

Bold 9790 Indonesia Launch
By Adam Zeis on 5 Dec 2011 08:14 am EST

According to police investigators in Jakarta, Andrew Cobham, CEO of RIM Indonesia, is to be held responsible for the November 25th stampede that took place at the Bold 9790 release event. While Cobham has not been detained, police investigator Budi Irawan said "The suspect has been banned from travelling overseas. He must go through the legal process here."  Suspects who also may be charged include an event organizer, a RIM-hired security consultant and a manager of the shopping center. There was no comment from Cobham or RIM on the matter.

So what do you think? Should one person be held responsible for this? Or is it the consumers who should take the blame? Sound off in the comments!!

Source: Reuters

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Police to charge RIM Indonesia CEO over stampede at Bold 9790 event


Well, you weren't present there to judge anyone based on this article, so I wouldn't be so sure about that.
I wasn't present either, but what my Indonesian friends have told me was that event holders had poorly communicated the event program and caused an uproar due to not following their own promises. E.g. people with special positions in the queue were not honored.
~ Yousif

This is not a new 'trick' (ergo: has been used before) to take up bribe money (i'm not proud of it, but i know how things are done in indonesia)

to make it a 'fair' comment: the event is waaay over populated and understaffed (yes RIM, your marketing stunt works when it comes to Indonesia)

I'm sure you've heard of all the crazy things that happened in the U.S. On black friday, so should their "ceo" or boss get in trouble also?

So many act immature and they need to be responsible for their actions regardless of an event. You don't run over people, cause injury and then blame it on the company or anybody else. I think the event should be kept quiet next time, or announced and then lineups formed for people to get their blackberries in a more peaceful manner. That way, there isn't any more riots or fights. Gates would be a good idea to make the lineups uniform, like they did with Honest ED's free turkey giveaway in toronto, with police monitoring and looking out for those trying to slide in or budd in front.

indonesian doesn't practice (it's not in their nature) to form a line up, especially when it comes to an event (any event/s for that matter).

for the sake of everyone's, gosssh it's only a damn mobile phone!

Was anyone injured in the stampede or was it just general disorder? I mean this does not sound like any kind of criminal negligence. It just sounds like the turnout was much larger then the even organizers had planned for. I mean a fine may be in order, but these types of things are impossible to control and the they did call in the authorities immediately as soon as things got out of control. Sounds like the team responsible for the event took reasonable steps to get the situation back under control.

Well i guess the board of directors from Walmart should be arrested too huh? Maybe the CEO of RadioShack and oh let's not forget BestBuy....lock them up too. Come on man! This is sooooooo ridiculous. Is the society changing to where people are now responsible for other peoples actions? At least this will be publicity for RIM and any publicity is good publicity.

"At least this will be publicity for RIM and any publicity is good publicity." -- after the EMEA blackout, RIM can use any (free) publicity :P

I was going to ask the same question. This is in no way the fault of one person or the company, but the people who did the deed.

oh come on RIM - u give the nice ppl in Indonesia 50% off yet there is none for your countrymen here in Canada! now that's just not right - u still owe us from the shutdown in october! :)

The CEO should not be held responsible in this case but the event management should to an extent - simply they couldnt handle it.

The CEO should be blamed also but a little bit. The event management should be blamed the most. But personally, I'll blame on the people and who dont understand instructions to sit down or not to push.

The event organizer + the securities told people nicely to sit down and remain calm. But yet people dont listen.

But again, I heard there are corruptions all over where people can get ahead of the queue, 1 person getting more than 1 phone etc.

... the newspapers said that RIM took over security matters into their own hands rather than let the EO take the responsibility (and the blame) for it.. bad choice huh?!

Seriously, RIM can't manage to do anything right these days. Not saying this is their fault but what I am saying is that even when they try to do something right, someway... somehow.. it all turns to crap on them and puts them in a bad light.

They're like the King Midas of the mobile industry but instead of everything turning into gold, it just turns to crap.

It's like someone at RIM broke a mirror and now they're having 7 yrs bad luck, lol.

This is going to sound bad, but I wish RIM could get that publicity here in the US and canada. That looks like something that would happen outside of an apple store.
I'm tired of apple getting these crowds here, people need to jump on the RIM bandwagon.

I totally agree with you on that one. On the other hand one person should not be charged for the event, charge all of those involved.

you gotta be kidding me...i could bet apple is the sponsor to the police to do something this dumb

Anyone who has lived in Indonesia knows that this is just a scam to get RIM to cough up some cash into someone's bank account


Definitely, I agree. That's why nobody has been detained, they're just giving them the opportunity to buy their way out.

You might be right but this issue goes beyond that. The police chief was fired for to this issue. Of course, nobody would like to take the blame so Police Chiefs said that they aren't aware of this event... Yeah right.. It was on billboard and newspaper (full page advert).

Yes this is the indonesian police's way to get a bribe.

"Accidents" like this happen way too often in indonesia. Usually during the Muslim holiday, people sacrifice cows and distribute the meat. That has caused many injuries and even death. The organizer of those events has generally not been charged.

In RIM's case, the CEO is foreign (big bucks for them they think).

So yeah this is stupid! If anything its the whole Indonesian people that should be blamed for not having the culture of lining up.

Disclosure...not hating on the indonesians...i am indonesian.

Everyone is to be blamed but the severity of each individuals may differ. I was there and I think the people waiting for the phone is to be blamed the most for causing this problem. Of course, nobody at this moment dares to blame the people as it may backfire. So its better to blame those few at the top

I can see both sides of argument. RIM should have better prepared by involving the police before hand. Research In Motion should have paid the police to do security instead of the third party security. This would have pushed the fault on to the Indonesian Police. Instead we have RIM and the third party security at fault as to why consumers were out of control. No one even government can control the people. No one could have planned for this to have happened. All RIM could do is prepare for what was expected. This is why they hired a third party security company. I believe that no one should be at fault for what occured and if anyone is it would have to be the consumers and third party security company.

I think the people are to blame. Maybe it's just me but my instinct is to stop all movement and cool it when I think I am stepping on someone's back while they're on the ground.

The event went belly up, but still, this is how RIM executives are treated for trying to bring some economic recovery and a" hella good" device to the region? I can only say that I must believe those posters who are from the area who say that this is all about bribery. They would know better than I.

This is mainly the peoples fault.
In my country the same thing would of happened I'm sure.
seriously this is more about the money a couple of thousand
dollars will leave RIM off the hook.

THEY REALLY HAVE NO IDEA of queueing(because most of Indonesians cannot digest the concept of queue and respecting others....and most of them who were in queue, is no more than a paid courier to get a/some 9790s for their boss, so as you might think...their brains are similar to an ape..sort of)...and now the RIM is to be blamed? Such a shame!

based on how things work over in indonesia, someone wants to put a blame on another person so that he or she can be seen as doing his or her job, especially when it comes to high profile case like this, involving a foreign company like RIM. what happened at the RIM event is nothing compared to what an indonesian billionaire, Bakrie, did to a village: he "accidentally" wiped out an entire village when drilling for mineral resources nearby. what happened to him? nothing. because he is a political leader now and trying to bid for presidency. and what happened to the people of that village? they are still waiting for fair compensation for over 4 years now.
think of it this way, when they lined up for the event, they came prepared to face with unorganized and hard to control mob. they have that expectation because they are used to face with this kind of situation. when they go watch a soccer match, they know that at the end of it, there will be a fight between each team's supporters. the police know it too. but, do they charge the team owners with a criminal charge for it? no! because those owners are properly connected.
seriously! the police are just looking to put up a show.

True, so you don't give the police a reason to screw you over.

The correct way to do it is to grossly overestimate your expected audience on your permit request, so the police comes with enough manpower to easily overwhelm the mob. If things go pear shaped... Well this happens.

On the Bakrie thing, if he become the president I'm getting out of this country. If you can wipe out several (not single) villages & an industrial area and get off scot free and later win a presidency, there's no saving this country and the lemmings that vote him in.

They could never get away with this in north american, not even close so much stuff like this happens and the CEOs of corporations would never take the fall, mind you they would apologize.

This will go away when the right person is paid off

Great publicity.

CEO, nor anyone at RIM, should be charged with anything.

People just want to play the blame game for things they have no control over :rolleyes: