Armed Papuans stealing village funds has become a homework: police

Armed Papuans stealing village funds has become a homework: police

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw. (ANTARA/Evarukdijati)

The village funds are robbed once the cash is received by village heads. This has become our homework
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw highlighted that the armed Papuan criminal groups' thievery of village funds had turned out to be a homework for Indonesian police and military personnel stationed in Papua Province.

The armed Papuan criminals purchase weapons through the robbed village funds, Waterpauw noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted in Jakarta on Monday.

"The village funds are robbed once the cash is received by village heads. This has become our homework," he noted, adding that the situation further exacerbates with certain village heads embezzling the funds.

Waterpauw urged village heads to utilize the funds as mandated by law and regulations.

The inspector general also drew attention to the armed Papuan criminal groups' efforts to recruit local university and secondary school students, who have received indoctrination and black campaigns on Indonesia.

In its efforts to thwart the recruitment process of notorious armed groups, the Indonesian police recently exposed one of the recruits named Rufinus Tigau.

Tigau, who was killed in a gun battle with security personnel on October 26, 2020, reportedly joined a notorious armed group based in Intan Jaya, Papua, a year ago.

"Rufinus Tigau is an armed criminal group member. His group has become a primary target of a joint team of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel,” National Police spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono, had stated on October 29, 2020.

The Nemangkawi Task Force targeted the armed Papuan criminal group since its members, including Rufinus Tigau, who had reportedly joined the group a year back, repeatedly heckled residents of Jalai Village in Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya District, he noted.

"These armed criminals also robbed the villagers' properties and did not hesitate to kill them," he noted while quoting Tigau’s stepfather Antonius Abugau as saying that Tigau had grown up in a pious Catholic family.

However, Tigau changed drastically after joining the armed criminal group, Abugau revealed in a recent interview with the Nemangkawi Task Force's investigators, according to Setiyono.

"Abugau spoke of his stepson having changed after joining the armed criminal group. His group had repeatedly robbed the locals' properties, threatened local youths, and also killed a tribal leader last August," he noted.

The tribal leader was reportedly murdered while attempting to defend 'mama-mama' (Papuan women) merchants at a local traditional market from the criminal group's oppressions, Setiyono quoted Abugau as telling the task force personnel.

The Indonesian province of Papua continues 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 goriest month in September this year, with armed groups launching a series of attacks in the area that claimed the lives of two soldiers and two civilians and injured two others.

The notorious armed groups in the Indonesian province have continued their acts of terror in October.

On October 9, 2020, an armed group ambushed a joint fact-finding team (TGPF) set up by the government to investigate a recent shooting in Mamba Village, Sugapa Sub-district.

In the incident, the TGPF member -- Gadjah Mada University (UGM) lecturer Bambang Purwoko -- was shot in the leg, while TNI soldier First Sgt Faisal Akbar of the Hitadipa Task Force sustained injuries on his waist.
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