Beritasatu, Jayapura – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Papua Governor Lukas Enembe during a dramatic operation at a restaurant in the provincial capital Jayapura on Tuesday, four months after he was named suspect for alleged bribery.
His arrest triggered a group of his supporters to attack the office of the police's Mobile Brigade Unit (Brimob) where Lukas was held before being flown to Jakarta in a chartered plane.
Videos from the scene posted on social media showed a number of people aggressively approaching officers and throwing stones at them. They were soon outnumbered and fled the scene after police fired tear gas.
Lukas was arrested when he was having lunch at Sendok Garpu Restaurant in Jayapura accompanied by friends, reported Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu.
"He was flown to Jakarta today," Papua Police Chief Insp. General Mathius Fakhiri said over the telephone.
The two-term governor is accused of taking billions of rupiah in bribes from businessmen but has resisted arrest since the KPK named him a suspect in September, creating a standoff with security officials who feared that his arrest could trigger bloody riots in the restive province.
During the months-long standoff, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center revealed that Lukas has made payments totaling 55 million Singapore dollars (US$39 million) to overseas casinos since 2017 after they analyzed the governor's financial records at the request of the KPK.
At one point, Lukas spent 5 million Singapore dollars in a single casino payment, according to the PPATK added. The KPK also found that Lukas once paid 55,000 Singapore dollars for a watch.
The central government also raised concern about the governor's corrupt behavior with President Joko Widodo urging him to honor the KPK summons and saying "everyone is equal before the law".
Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD said in October that the central government had channeled a total of Rp 1,000 trillion ($66 billion) in "autonomy funding" to Papua since 2001, about half of the amount was disbursed during Lukas' term.
"More than Rp 500 trillion ($33 billion) has been disbursed during Lukas Enembe's tenure but nothing happened: the people remain poor and the officials continue their lavish lifestyle," Mahfud said.