Two alleged gunsmiths shot dead as city reels from armed robberies
The Jakarta Police said Friday that they had shot dead two men who were suspected of having made and sold illegal firearms that were used in a number of gun-related crimes in Greater Jakarta.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told reporters that the police opened fire on the two suspects, identified as Doni Rahman and Teten, after the two fled during a police raid on Thursday.
According to police, Doni, whom the police had previously arrested on Wednesday in Cileunyi, West Java, was ordered by police to arrange a meeting on Thursday with Teten, who at that time was at a hideout in Cipacing, Sumedang, in West Java.
Cipacing is traditionally known as a center for the production of air rifles, while several rogue gunsmiths have also made firearms for criminals.
The two suspects, however, decided to flee the meeting and were later involved in a highway chase with police officers from the Cipularang toll road in Bandung, West Java, to the Jagorawi toll road
“When the suspects’ car was on the Halim highway, they opened fire upon the car being driven by our officers. Our officers then responded by returning several rounds at the suspects’ car until the suspects went down at the Jagorawi toll gate,” Rikwanto said.
A joint team of officers from Jakarta and West Jakarta police forces then conducted a raid at Teten’s house in Cileunyi, where they found 156 sharp bullets and other tools to make firearms, Rikwanto added.
Mobile detective unit chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Herry Heryawan said the two suspects had vast expertise in making firearms, for which they utilized special tools and specific computer programs in their manufacture. “For example, the firearms they sold are printed with the logos of European or American firearm makers; hence, they look genuine,” he told reporters.
Jakarta Police detective chief Sr. Comr. Toni Harmanto said that the firearms were initially air rifles that could only fire rubber bullets, locally known as air soft guns, which were later modified by the suspects into a full-fledged firearms that could fire live rounds.
Rikwanto confirmed that the firearms sold by the suspects were used in the string of robberies involving four jewelry shops in Tangerang, which happened in February this year. Police have arrested one suspect for the jewelry shop robberies, identified as Muhamad Ibrahim Wongso, who admitted that he purchased the firearm from Doni.
The spokesman added that the police were undergoing further investigation on whether the firearms were used in other criminal cases, such as various cases of mini market robberies and motorcycle thefts in Jakarta and Tangerang.
Firearm possession in Jakarta and its satellite cities is believed to be connected with recent gun-related crimes. In March, a vegetable-transport driver was shot by an unidentified gunman in Kalideres, West Jakarta, after the former apparently was driving his truck recklessly.
During the same month, a senior reporter in state-owned television company TVRI named Djuli Elfano was shot dead in front of his house at Vila Bintaro Indah in Ciputat, South Tangerang, after he tried to prevent his motorcycle from being stolen by the perpetrators.
Thieves with guns also robbed an Indomaret mini-market in Ciputat, Tangerang, in April. It was not the first minimarket robbery in Ciputat: Two Alfamart outlets in the district were robbed on consecutive days in December, with the perpetrators absconding with a total of Rp 22 million (US$2,354) in cash, while an Alfamart outlet in nearby Pondok Aren was robbed of Rp 14 million in cash on Jan, 10.
The police said they were currently pursuing three other suspects in the case, identified only by their initials as AY, BI and KI, who all acted as middlemen for Doni and Teten’s firearm business and are suspected to have supplied firearms to civilians in Jakarta and Tangerang.