Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Presidential spokesman Johan Budi reiterated here on Tuesday that no illegal arms had ever been smuggled aboard a presidential aircraft.

"I just reaffirmed that no arms bought illegally had been taken aboard the presidential aircraft," he clarified at the presidential palace compound.

Johan made assurance that the illegal guns, bought by members of the presidential security guard (Paspampres), had never been smuggled into Indonesia aboard the presidential aircraft.

The presidential spokesman explained that the guns were bought by members of Paspampres on September 28, 2015, in the United States according to their court testimonies.

"Hence, I can say with certainty that on September 28, the presidential aircraft was not in the United States. The president had no agenda of visiting the United States on September 28. That is clear," he stated.

As no presidential aircraft was flying to the United States on that date, it was confirmed that the illegal guns were not purchased in institutional but in individual capacity.

"Hence, it has nothing to do with Paspampres as an institution," he emphasized.

Johan said that currently, a punishment had been meted out to the involved individuals, and the case had also been reported to the commander of the defense forces and the chief of Paspampres at the time of the purchase.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that members of the Paspampres had never used illegal guns while conducting their duty of securing the head of state.

"Paspampres has never used illegal guns, as the units guns are the best among those used by all security agencies," he pointed out.

Regarding the confession of a US soldier that Paspampres members had bought illegal guns, he clarified that the case was being handled by the Military Police, and so, he would just wait for the result.

"I believe that Paspampres members took the step for their personal purpose to improve their capabilities. Perhaps, it would be used for training. For conducting their duties, certainly, it would be the best weapons that would be used," he remarked.

Kalla noted that purchasing guns was a common thing in the United States, and so, cases of illegal gun purchase were also prevalent in that country.

"There are seven guns in total and are worth no more than Rp50 million. However, that is a problem of the United States. It is up to the concerned individual whether he/she would sell to Indonesia," he said.

Indonesias Military Commander General Gator Nurmantyo stated that the Paspampres chief would impose a sanction on his men involved in the gun purchase in the United States.

"The sanction is administrative related to a disciplinary violation," he affirmed.

Nurmantyo pointed out that the case occurred during the term of former Paspampres chief Major General Andika Perkasa, though the sanction would be imposed by current Chief Brigadier General Bambang Suswantono.

Nurmantyo noted that the current chief was unaware of the case.

"If his superior is aware of the case, it would be me who is to be held accountable," he added.

In view of this, Nurmantyo has ordered an investigation into the case, and it had been carried out four months ago and the process was completed, while the guns had been confiscated.

Nurmantyo remarked that until now, the perpetrator was still a member of Paspampres, pending the decision of the Paspampres chief.

"Some of them are field officers, while others are junior officers. Let me check with the Military Police as the number of people being investigated is huge. I cannot mention them all. We will regret it, if they are found not guilty," he added.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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