Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson Emanuel Dogopia stated that KNPB Timika was not involved in the firearms and ammunition trade in Papua. He made the statement responding to the arrest of the Chairman of KNPB Timika, Yanto Awekion (YA), for alleged involvement in the arms trade in Mimika Regency last week.
Dogopia said that the KNPB Timika never mobilized its members to do arms trade for the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).
"KNPB Timika Region as an organization has never discussed, scheduled, decided, and determined to carry out transactions of firearms and ammunition for TPNPB," Dogopia told Jubi via telephone call on Monday, September 26, 2022.
Previously, on Thursday and Friday, the police of the Cartenz Peace Operation arrested three people suspected of being involved in the arms and ammunition trade in Mimika, MN, BK, and YA.
"If Awerkion did the trade, he must be doing it on his own, not on behalf of the KNPB. KNPB has never appointed any of our members to do weapon transactions," he said.
However, Dogopia doubts the police's claim that Awerkion was involved in the arms trade. Dogopia fears that Yanto Awerkion was criminalized due to his political activities with KNPB Timika.
"If Awerkion was truly caught selling ammunition, why does the police not explain to the public Awerkion's role and the amount of ammunition he sold? Awerkion is only accused, and that shows how the police want to bring down the KNPB," he said.
Previously, the spokesperson of the Cartenz Peace Operation, Sr. Comr. Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said the police confiscated 95 rounds of yellow sharp bullets with green stripes of 5.56 caliber, 18 rounds of yellow rubber bullets with "pin 7.62 TK" written on it, nine pieces of iron ammunition pin K50, and four mobile phones.
Kamal explained the role of each suspect was different. According to him, MN sold 95 live bullets to BK for Rp 19 million. MN then gave a bonus of 18 rubber bullets to BK. According to Kamal, BK bought the bullets to give to Undius Kogoya, the leader of TPNPB Intan Jaya.
Kamal said police were still developing the case, and pursuing a number of other suspects. Kamal did not specify Yanto Awerkion's role in the ammunition transaction between MA and BK. However, Kamal said YA was the ammunition dealer.
"He has admitted to investigators. However, he has not talked about where did he obtain the ammunition," Kamal said in a written statement. (*)