Home Heroic Police Officer Rejects Bribes, Becomes Garbage Man Instead. Now He’s A National...

Police Officer Rejects Bribes, Becomes Garbage Man Instead. Now He’s A National Hero

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Indonesian police officers have a pretty poor reputation, but one officer has decided to fight a one-man battle against corruption, winning the hearts of the nation along the way.

Bripka Seladi, 58, from Malang, East Java, is a traffic police officer by day, but at night he scavenges trash to earn extra money for his family.


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For 8 years, father-of-three Bripka has sorted through litter and sold it on to earn extra cash, instead of resorting to bribes to supplement his income.

“I saw that many people were picking up trash around my office. I thought, ‘There’s money in this’. If it doesn’t get picked up, the trash will mount. So I started doing it myself,” he explained.

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Having worked for the police force since 1977, Bripka knows many officers accept bribes to supplement their income, turning a blind eye to criminal activity.

But Bripka is determined to earn a living through honest work, rather than corruption.

“As long as what I do is halal and I’m serious about doing it, I don’t care what people say. I know, there are those who mock me. I say to them, ‘I can be like you [corrupt], but can you be like me?’”


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Bripka earns around $2 a day from selling trash and his son, Rizal, couldn’t be prouder.

“I’m not ashamed that my father is a police officer and also a scavenger,” he says, “I’m proud that my father taught us about honesty.”


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What an amazing man. We only hope other police officers in Indonesia will swap dirty deals and for dirty hands — and honest work.

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