In response to the commitment expressed by Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian to eradicate corruption in Papua, the National Police headquarters has provided Rp 2.8 billion (US$311,000) in funds and personnel backup to conduct joint investigations.
The financial aid was handed over at the Papua Police headquarters on Thursday by the National Police Corruption Crime director Brig. Gen. Nur Alim and accepted by Papua Police Special Corruption Crime director Comr. Setyo Budianto.
In 2011, Papua Police were able to uncover 28 graft cases and returned Rp 5.3 billion in lost state funds to the state, and as of October this year, they have handled 37 corrupt cases and saved Rp 120 billion in state funds.
Tito has instructed all police forces covering Papua and West Papua to get serious about dealing with corrupt cases by November and December this year. “All regency police have been instructed to handle a corruption case,” added Tito.
“So, in the next two months, we hope that Papua Police will uncover 33 corrupt cases, each case handled by each regency police force and four cases handled by Papua Police,” said Papua Police spokesman Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya.
The redistribution of wealth has failed to materialize in Papua as most of the major funds channeled by the central government to Indonesia’s easternmost province have been wasted — or embezzled by the local elites — as is evident by the fact that Papua and West Papua remain the most disadvantaged regions.
The government is also due to raise special autonomy funding for Papua to Rp 4.3 trillion ($450.5 million) next year from this year’s Rp 3.10 trillion, and to Rp 1.8 trillion for West Papua from this year’s Rp 1.33 trillion.
Papua legal practitioner Anthon Raharusun said he appreciated Tito’s commitment to corruption eradication efforts in Papua. “Now, I see a new era in fighting corruption in Papua,” he said.
So far, none of the police leadership in Papua has expressed their commitment to eradicate corruption. The police chief’s commitment should be supported by every law enforcer. “A case should reach a point where investigations have been completed [P-21],” Anthon said.
Anthon expressed hope that law enforcers in Papua would work together to eradicate and prevent corruption because corruption is devastating to the people of Papua. He said that corruption issues have a significant connection to the political issues in Papua.
“The people have expressed grave concern over the corruption issue and pin their hopes on the police chief who has shown his commitment to eradicate corruption,” he added.