"Today, we have arrested three people, of which two are suspected of looting an ATM in front of the office of the Papua People's Assembly (MRP). They stole money from the ATM and then set it on fire," Chief of the West Papua Provincial Police Brigadier General Herry Rudolf Nahak stated in Manokwari on Friday.
Nahak noted that the two suspects, identified by their initials as MA and DA, had come clean about the criminal offense they had committed.
The other guy, identified by his initials as MI, is suspected of setting ablaze the Red-and-White flag.
Nahak affirmed that all suspects are the residents of Manokwari.
The West Papua provincial police are yet investigating the case as a response to the order from President Joko Widodo, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, and Chief of the National Police General Tito Karnavian to arrest the other suspects, he stated.
"It is implausible for us to allow the burning of the MRP office to go unheeded. Demonstration is different from arson," he stated.
The suspects are criminal offenders rather than demonstrators and merely capitalized on the situation during the riot to commit criminal offenses.
On Monday, several thousand people in Manokwari had rallied in agitation over alleged racist behavior targeting Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java. The demonstrators lit tires in several parts of the city and main streets.
The police confirmed damage caused to 10 public facilities in Manokwari and 15 facilities in Sorong in the wake of the rioting.
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