Bandarlampung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - A total of 450 personnel of the Lampung-based Tri Wira Eka Jaya`s Infantry Battalion would be deployed to Papua Province on August 26 to safeguard the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea (PNG) border, a military officer said.

"The entire personnel are ready for the deployment," Deputy Assistant for Operations at the Indonesian Military Headquarters First Marshal M. Khairul Lubis stated when observing the troops` readiness at the infantry battalion compound in South Lampung on Tuesday.

They would be transported by a military ship to Merauke naval ship in the eastern Indonesian province. Then, they would continue their journey to reach their respective border posts by land, he noted.

"They will be deployed in groups to 16 border posts. Each group would have 32 personnel," he added.

The Indonesian military personnel in Papua Province remain challenged by serious transborder crimes, including drug smugglers.

Early this week, the border security task force of the Army Strategic Command (Kostrad), for instance, successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle two kilograms of marijuana via a border post at Skamto, Papua.

Two suspects from Papua New Guinea (PNG), identified as TK (18) and PV (30), were arrested on Monday when they tried to cross the border into the Indonesian territory of the Papua island, commander of the task force Lt. Col. Eko Anthoni Chandra noted.

The two suspects were caught while driving their vehicle right in front of the Skamto post when the task force was launching a raid on the street.

PV told his investigator that the drug was to be sold in Jayapura, Anthoni remarked, adding that the two suspects lived in different villages in Papua New Guinea not far from the border.

"Now, the two suspects and the drug have been handed over to police for legal investigation," he revealed.

He stated that the border area is rampant with smuggling of illegal goods, which included not only drugs but also sharp fin, vanilla, and areca nuts. Therefore, the task force has to launch patrol and raids more frequently. **2***

Reporting by Agus Wira Sukarta and Ardiansyah
Editing by Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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