Sat, 25 Mar 2000

Bogor detective chief shot in raid against gang of robbers

BOGOR (JP): Bogor City Police Detective chief, First Lt. Santun Marpaung, was wounded during a raid against a gang of robbers known as "Safri Group" at Kampung Lemah Dalam in Cibungbulang district in the early hours of Friday.

Santun survived a desperate struggle with the notorious gang leader named Rojak, 40, who died from multiple gunshot wounds.

"Santun led 16 officers in the operation because these long- time criminals are always armed and very dangerous. But, before the officers reached their hiding place, they were encountered in the village," Bogor City Police chief Lt. Col. Ade Husen Kartadipura said later on Friday.

The road to the robbers' billet was slippery and narrow. After starting the journey at 7 p.m. on Thursday the officers eventually reached the Gunung Bundar area at around 1 a.m. Friday.

One of the detectives on the operation told The Jakarta Post that the officers were walking in the dark after leaving their cars at the border of the village.

"We had to walk five kilometers into the remote area and there was no light at all.

"Pak Santun was leading us but when we reached a small security post, we saw the gang of six thieves strolling towards our position," the officer said.

Santun quickly chased and nabbed Rojak, but his grip slipped and Rojak got away.

"I kept chasing him and we fought before falling down into a ravine," officer Santun told the Post and Media Indonesia daily at the Bogor PMI hospital on Friday.

Both of them fell into a ravine deep inside the remote village as a group of police detectives chased after the other gang members.

Santun, accompanied by his wife Sgt. Maj. Indriningtyas, said that during robberies, the gang always carried FN guns and assorted other pistols as well as sharp weapons.

"I got shot in the back and got cut on my left wrist," he whispered from his bed.

The other gang members escaped by fleeing into the darkness. Several detectives, trying to help Santun, started shooting at Rojak from above the ravine.

Rojak died with gunshot wounds in the right thigh, abdomen, right arm and a slash wound in his forehead.

Bogor Regional Police chief Col. Edi Darnadi said on Friday that it was still unclear whether officer Santun was shot by Rojak or by a stray bullet fired by the police.

"The officers were shooting in the dark. The location of the clash was in a thick brush. So the bullet which hit Santun could have come from an officer's gun.

"We have to check it first.. the officers haven't had time to check and study the area because of their pursuit of the gang," Edi said. (21/24/edt)