Saturday, 19 October 2019 | 22:28 WIB

Armed Criminal Groups’ Acts Worsen, Papua Police Escorts Freeport’s Buses

Members of Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) guard around the PT Freeport Indonesia area, Papua.

TIMIKA, NETRALNEWS.COM - In the wake of the recent shootings by the armed criminal group in Timika, the ranks of the Papua Regional Police ensure the safety and security of PT Freeport Indonesia’s employees traveling from their work sites in Tembagapura to Timika for their weekly break from work.

Chief of Papua Regional Police Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar in Timika said on Monday (11/6/2017) that the escort of the Freeport’s employee buses and subcontractors is still being carried out, even upgraded after the recent shootings.

"The escort of employee buses is still going on, there is no problem, even if there is a slight disturbance," Boy Rafli said.

Boy Rafli was even quite surprised to know that tens of employees of Freeport dared to walk from Tembagapura Bus Terminal towards Timika because the bus fleet prepared by the company was limited.

"Please ask that why there was no vehicle. I did not know that," said Boy Rafli.

Since the shootings by armed criminal group along Freeport's main road connecting Timika to Tembagapura, now every bus traveling the road is escorted by fully-armed Brimob officers who are members of the PT Freeport Security Task Force.

So far, Freeport buses and other operational vehicles crossing the mine's main roads are fitted with bulletproof equipments to prevent shootings.

Head of Mimika Resort Police AKBP Victor Dean Mackbon added that traffic activity along the main road connecting Timika-Tembagapura is still running normally as usual.

Police officers assisted by the Indonesian Armed Forces will continue to carry out security and escorting vehicles crossing the road.

"Even now there is an inceased security against convoys of employees’ vehicles and logistic transport vehicles," Victor said as quoted by Antara.

According to him, up to now there are seven to eight points that are considered prone to acts of terror armed criminal groups.

A number of points considered vulnerable to shooting in addition to Freeport's main road are the former landslide areas near the old Utikini neighborhood near Tembagapura Police Station to Kimbeli Village and Waa-Banti bridge.