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Papua police chief denies receiving money from Labora

Tempo.co - September 23, 2013

Jerry Omona, Jayapura – Papua Police Chief, Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, denied having received money from Adj. First Insp. Labora Sitorus – the former member of the Raja Ampat resort Police implicated in illegal logging, illegal fuel distribution and money laundering.

Labora's note, which was submitted to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), stated that a Papua police chief received Rp200 million in February 2013.

"Let me clarify, if [Labora] said that the Papua police chief accepted [the money] – check [the story] first. Is it really my name that is written there? Because I never received money from [Labora]," Tito told Tempo on Sunday, September 22.

Tito added that – corresponding with the secret telegram of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) Chief dated September 3, 2012 – he was appointed as Papua Police Chief in September 2012, replacing Insp. Gen. Bigman Lumban Tobing.

"The ceremony was done at the Polri Headquarters on September 21, 2012. Whereas my welcoming ceremony in Jayapura took place on September 25, 2012," said Tito.

Tito asked for verification on the information about him being transferred money on February 2013. According to the statement, the money was given via the Raja Ampat Sectoral Police Chief Raja Ampat. "I have called the resort police chief, he said that he never received money from Labora to be given to me," said Tito.

According to the notes Tempo received, the Papua Police chief was transferred money for four times in 2012 – in addition to the Rp200 million money-transfer made in February this year. In January 2012 the transfer amounted to Rp629.75 million, in June it was Rp225 million, In August it was Rp300 million and in September the transfer amounted to Rp150 million.

Allegations of collusion between Labora Sitorus and a number of police officials are not without grounds. Labora claimed that he had paid up to Rp10 billion to make sure that his illicit businesses run smooth. "There are allegations of gratification," Labora Sitorus' family spokesman Wolter Sitanggang said.

The case came to surface after the Center for Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis (PPATK) found a number of suspicious transactions in Labora's accounts throughout 2007-2012. During the period, Labora's total transactions reached an astounding amount of Rp1.5 trillion. Among the suspicious transactions, the PPATK found a number of fund transfers to high-ranking police officers.