The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Military (TNI) has penalized Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres) members who purchased firearms from a US Army soldier for personal use without going through the proper legal procedures, presidential spokesman Johan Budi said on Tuesday.
The State Palace denied the firearms were purchased during a visit by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to the US. Johan, however, refused to give further details, as the TNI would announce the punishments to the media.
"Based on Audi Sumilat’s explanation, the firearms were bought on Sep. 28. I ensure that on Sep. 28 there was no state visit to that country, that's clear," Johan told journalists at the palace, stressing that the purchases were person-to-person and not institutional.
Sumilat is a US army soldier facing five years’ imprisonment and a fine of US$250,000 for selling guns to Paspampres personnel without a firearms export license.
TNI chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo separately said that the force had handed down administration and disciplinary sanctions to the Paspampres members without giving further details on the identities of the personnel. TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman previously said TNI had questioned eight personnel regarding the case but said the purchases were for personal use and blamed paperwork issues for the legality of the purchases. (rin)
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