The armed criminals have often robbed a part of the village funds after receiving information of the local village authorities having received the cash, Intan Jaya District Head Natalis Tabuni was quoted by ANTARA as saying on Monday.
The funds forcibly obtained from the local village authorities are used for procuring guns and ammunition, Tabuni noted, adding that once information leaked of the fund disbursements, the criminal groups would wait in their targeted villages.
"They will demand a part of the village funds from the village administrative officials that they meet. If the authorized officials refuse to give the cash, they would threaten them at gunpoint," he revealed.
These notorious armed gangs' criminal records are no secret in Papua Province.
On October 29, 2020, the Indonesian police had exposed the cruelty of an armed criminal group that Rufinus Tigau, who was killed in a gun battle with security personnel on October 26, 2020, had joined a year ago.
"Rufinus Tigau is a member of an armed criminal group that has become a primary target of a joint team of Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel," National Police’s spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono, stated on Oct 29.
The Nemangkawi Task Force targeted the armed Papuan criminal group since its members had repeatedly heckled residents of Jalai Village in Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya District. They also robbed the villagers' property and were brazen in killing them.
Last August, this armed group had killed one of the local residents, who was a tribal leader attempting to protect 'mama-mama' (the Papuan women) merchants at a local traditional market from the criminal group's oppressions, Setiyono revealed.
The Indonesian province of Papua has continued to bear witness to a vicious cycle of violence, with armed groups in the districts of Intan Jaya and Nduga continuing to target civilians and security personnel over the past two months.
Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September this year, with armed groups mounting a string of attacks in the area, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead while two others injured.
The acts of terror by notorious armed groups in the Indonesian province had continued in October.
On October 9, 2020, an armed group ambushed a joint fact-finding team (TGPF) formed by the government to probe a recent shooting in Mamba Village, Sugapa Sub-district.
One of the fact-finding team's members and a soldier were injured in the attack.
According to records of the Papua police headquarters, over the past nine months, armed groups operating in Intan Jaya were involved in 17 cases of violence against civilians and security personnel.
Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw revealed recently that six armed groups are currently active in Intan Jaya's areas, including Hipadipa Sub-district. They are led by Sebinus Waker and reportedly possess 17 rifles.
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