Police still name two suspects in West Papua's arms trafficking

Police still name two suspects in West Papua's arms trafficking

National Police Spokesman Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono (ANTARA/Laily Rahmawaty)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Police investigators' probe is ongoing into a case of sale of weapons and ammunition to armed Papuan criminals that involved two cops, according to a police spokesman.

"There are still two suspects, and the Papua and Maluku police headquarters is still handling the case," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono stated.

The suspects belong to the Sabara (public order) units, Hartono noted in a press statement that ANTARA quoted in Jakarta on Thursday.

Preliminary results of investigation indicated that the suspects sold the weapons and ammunition to the armed Papuan criminals, as it was economically lucrative.

"Each bullet has its price and so does a rifle. Of course, it is economically profitable. This aspect is being further investigated," Hartono remarked.

In aiding the investigation process, the National Police has sent out its internal affairs division (Propam) to the Maluku police headquarters, he confirmed.

The suspects were registered as cops at the Ambon city police precinct and Lease Island police precinct, according to Hartono.

They were apprehended following the arrest of a suspect, identified by the initials as WT, 34, in Teluk Bintuni District, West Papua Province, on February 10, 2021.

The Maluku police investigators in Maluku Province have coordinated with their counterparts from the West Papua Police headquarters for handling the case.

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According to Maluku Police spokesperson Sen. Coms. M. Soem Ohoirat, the suspect confessed to having purchased the weapons and ammunition from Ambon.

According to local media outlets, the suspect was arrested in possession of a revolver, assault rifle, 607 bullets, and a magazine.

Ohoirat recently confirmed that the Maluku police investigators had apprehended several people in Ambon while steering clear from disclosing the identities of the detainees.

In November 2020, the West Papua police had thwarted an attempt by an underground arms syndicate to trade weapons and ammunition smuggled from the Philippines.

The police arrested three people, including a housewife, over their involvement in the case.

The suspects, identified as SM, SK, and RB, smuggled six guns, three magazines, and 43 bullets into West Papua through Manado in North Sulawesi and Sorong in West Papua. (INE)

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