Armed Gang Got Firearms From Pindad Worker: Police
Bayu Marhaenjati & Zaky Pawas
The Jakarta Police announced on Sunday that they had arrested a worker at state-run armorer Pindad on suspicion of supplying guns to thieves.
“We were able to trace the weapons used in the robberies to a worker at Pindad, who we suspect supplied them to the robbers,” Sr. Comr. Toni Hermanto, the director of the Jakarta Police general crimes bureau, said on Sunday.
The suspect, identified only as A.T., was arrested on Thursday night in Bandung.
Toni said that A.T. sold the weapons to the bandits for Rp 11 million ($1,100) each, but did not participate in the robberies. However, he added, the weapons did not originate from Pindad.
“We’re still investigating where the weapons came from,” said Adj. Sr. Comr. Helmy Santika, the Jakarta Police’s violent crimes division head.
“A.T. did not get them from Pindad but from an outside source. It was just a coincidence that he works at Pindad.”
Police said A.T. worked at Pindad’s warehouse division. The arms firm has its headquarters in Bandung.
A.T. claimed he bought the firearms for Rp 5 million each from a suspect, identified as A., who is currently wanted by police.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, A.T. said he did not know the guns were to be used in heists. He said he sold the guns to H.R., a robbery suspect, who he met through their mutual interest in airguns, because he thought they were to be used for target practice.
A.T. said he also knew A. as an airgun hobbyist. Both are members of the Jatayu Airsoft Gun Club, which is registered with the Indonesian Shooting and Hunting Association (Perbakin).
“We are looking into the possibility that these arms originated either from the black market or from former conflict areas,” Helmy said. “We will know more once we arrest A.”
Toni said the suspects who bought guns from A.T. were believed to have committed 15 different armed robberies in the Greater Jakarta area this year, targeting cash-carrying bank customers.
He said A.T. had been arrested based on leads obtained following the arrests of several members of the gang suspected of carrying out the thefts.
The first suspect was arrested in Bali on Wednesday night, followed by another arrested in an apartment block in Kelapa Gading the following day. Testimony from the second suspect led to the arrest of four other suspects, including A.T.
A seventh suspect, identified only as R.I.Z., was shot dead during a standoff with police in Kelapa Gading, while another suspect, M., remains at large.