Sat, 09 Dec 2000

Air Force member arrested for robbery

JAKARTA (JP): Police arrested three members of a vicious gang of robbers on Thursday, one of whom turned out to be a member of the Air Force, during a raid in Kampung Tengah, East Jakarta, Jakarta Police Detectives chief Sr. Supt. Harry Montolalu said on Friday.

One of the robbers, identified as Samsudin alias Udin Buduk, was shot dead by police when he tried to escape arrest.

"The gang has been the target of a police operation for five years now," Harry told a media conference.

He said the group had robbed several residences and other buildings in Bekasi and East Jakarta, raking in hundreds of thousands of rupiah from their crimes.

"The group would not hesitate to hurt their victims if they refused to give them what they wanted," Harry said while displaying an ordinary sickle and a Kujang, a weapon unique to West Java.

Harry said that the Air Force member, identified by the police only by his initials BB, would soon be handed over to military police headquarters.

According to the police report, the Air Force member, a 37- year-old chief sergeant, lived in the Sriti dormitory of the General Education Section at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta.

Harry admitted that the number of crimes involving military and police personnel had increased lately.

"I don't know the reason for this," Harry said.

The other arrested man was identified as Azis Susilo, 31. Police also arrested a man who had been negotiating with the gang at the scene to buy some electronic appliances prior to the arrest.

Meanwhile, five other members of the gang were still at large, Harry said. (jaw)