The Jakarta Post
The National Police (Polri) should publicly clarify reports that the force has purchased from a Ukraine company hundreds of firearms and ammunition that will be used by the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob), a police watchdog said on Saturday.
“The police should clarify the reports about 280 firearms and 6,000 rounds of ammunition belonging to Brimob that are currently being held by authorities at Soekarno Hatta International Airport,” Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman Neta S. Pane said in a statement on Saturday.
He added that information obtained by the IPW revealed that the firearms and ammunition were sourced by PT MDM from abroad.
“Polri need to explain whether these weapons and ammunition are part of the police’s plan to buy 20,000 firearms,” said Neta.
He referred to a previous Polri statement that confirmed they planned to buy MAG 4 weapons, of which 5,000 would be bought from state weapons manufacturer Pindad while 15,000 others would be purchased from abroad.
“To avoid confusion, the police must tell the public whether firearms taken into custody by the airport authorities form part of the 15,000 firearms they planned to buy from a supplier abroad,” said Neta.
A series of reports circulating on social media app Whatsapp since Friday have shown documents from different authorities, including a clearance document approved by Indonesian authorities that appeared to state that a Ukraine Air Alliance cargo aircraft had landed at Soekarno Hatta airport at around 11.35 p.m. on Friday. It was said the cargo comprised items ordered by Polri.
According to the documents, items of the cargo included 280 SAGL 40x46mm grenade launchers and 5,932 RLV HEFJ 40x46 mm grenades.
A photo of a cargo manifest appeared to indicate that among the items carried by the aircraft were “cartridges for weapons” packed inside 70 wooden boxes weighing 23 kilograms each.
Meanwhile, the shipping classification was 1.1 E. According to the UN shipping classification, 1.1E means “secondary explosive, not self initiating, with propelling charge.”
Among the other documents circulating via Whatsapp are pictures of green wooden boxes stored inside a warehouse. There is also a document apparently from the Ukrainian Embassy in Jakarta that praised the Indonesian authorities for giving clearance for the aircraft to enter the country’s territory.
Polri spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto did not respond to The Jakarta Post’s request for confirmation. (ebf)