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Thursday, 19 November 2020 - 02:31 WIB

Arms smuggling in Papua is linked to smugglers from Philippines

West Papua Police chief, Insp.Gen Tornagogo Sihombing, on Tuesday (November 17, 2020) announced the arrest of three suspects in an alleged firearms smuggling racket. (ANTARA/Toyiban/sh)

West Papua Police chief, Insp.Gen Tornagogo Sihombing, on Tuesday (November 17, 2020) announced the arrest of three suspects in an alleged firearms smuggling racket. (ANTARA/Toyiban/sh)

Manokwari, Jubi – West Papua Police are investigating an illegal racket involving the smuggling of firearms from the Philippines to an armed criminal group in the province.

The police’s special team has made three arrests in the case, West Papua Police chief, Insp.Gen Tornagogo Sihombing, said in Manokwari on Wednesday (18/11/2020).

The three suspects have been identified by their initials RB, SM, and SK.

The police have seized six firearms, 43 bullets, and three magazines from the suspects. The arms and ammunition were routed to West Papua from Manado via sea, Sihombing informed.

One of the suspects, RB, played an important role in the smuggling racket, he said.

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“RB’s network has a special connection with a criminal gang in the Philippines. From the Philippines, the firearms were transported to Indonesia through Manado in North Sulawesi,” he elaborated.

Furthermore, he continued, the firearms were smuggled into Manokwari via Sorong in West Papua. The smugglers reportedly entered Papua province through Nabire district, he said.

The three suspects were arrested in separate operations conducted since November 3, 2020, and have been detained at the West Papua Police Headquarters.

“We are still digging for more information from the suspects to confirm that firearms trades have been made before this. We are still investigating it,” Sihombing said.

The Nemangkawi Operation Task Force of the Indonesian Police and the West Papua Police worked closely to uncover the illegal distribution of firearms in West Papua and Papua, he added. (*)

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