Papua Police Chief Admits Soldiers’ Involvement in Bullet Trading



Jayapura, Jubi – After denying about soldiers’ alleged involvement in selling bullets to rebels, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende finally admitted that police have detained five military members and three civilians in the case.

“We are still developing the case. I handed them to the Regional Military Command. It’s right, there are five soldiers as reported in the media,” Mende said on Thursday (29/1).

He said the police have monitored the bullet trading for some time.

He received a report from the Police Special Force about the bullet transaction involving members of security forces, but it was initially unclear if they were soldiers or police.
“We monitored their movement. But I warned my team they should know first their enemies before ambushing them because they also have the weapons. A gunfire might be happened during the ambush,” he said. Therefore he decided to order his team to arrest the buyers in anticipating the unwanted situation.


“Then, there was a bullet transaction. The apparatus sold 500 bullets to the armed group. We arrested three persons who support the rebel group of Puron Wenda. They are the undercover members who assigned in the town for bullet supplies,” he said.

The Police Chief said the 500 bullets were sold for 10 million rupiahs. But they just paid 7.5 million rupiahs. The three civilians are now under the Papua Police’s custody. They are threatened being sentence on illegal bullet possession.
“We indicate there’s a syndicate. We will reveal it after investigation against the arrested civilians. Related to the military members, please ask the Regional Military Commander. The bullets found are 5.56-millimeter caliber.  We have secured the evidences but I can not tell the detail now because it’s still under investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, separately the Cenderawasih XVII Regional Command is still investigating the source of bullets in the transaction defeated by the Joint Police and Military Force at Entrop, Jayapura on Wednesday (28/1).

The Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Commander, the Major General Fransen Siahaan said the military is still investigating this case because the stock of bullets at the military’s warehouse is still complete. None of them are missing.
“It’s all intact.  The standard procedure is correct. It means where are those coming from? Is it just a business or something elses. There are five soldiers who currently being questioned. But it could be more,” the Commander Siahaan said without revealing their names during the press conference at Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Headquarter on Thursday afternoon (29/1).

According to him, he has already checked the training schedule of soldiers, how many bullets used in the training and how many bullets left in the warehouse. It’s all done properly based on the standard procedure. No bullets are missing.
“We are still tracking the possibility of other parties’ involvement. Could it be already structured, systematic and so on? Has it the bullets reported run out in the training session while it didn’t use at all. Or the soldiers brought it home in their day-off. We will investigate it,” he said.

He further said the military members who involved in the bullet trading definitely would be fired. He admitted glad this syndicate was revealed. It could be maintained since decades and become a threat to the Military. The soldiers who sold the bullets to the armed groups are deserved to sentence death or life imprisonment. However, the Commander didn’t further explain about the meaning of ‘being maintained’ and who’s behind it.

“We will discover whoever stand behind it. I don’t feel ashamed. It’s our duty. I am glad if the syndicate could be revealed whether it is part of internal or external organization. They are my enemies. They are traitors. They hired by this country but they the traitors of state. They hired by the Country but trait it. No tolerance for them. (Arjuna Pademme/Dominggus Mampioper/rom)

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