|East Timor's gun-toting Police Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro
Fundasaun Mahein's Research Coordinator, Jaoa Almeida Fernandes, also asked that the new government legislate tighter control of police assets, particularly, its weapons arsenal.
“Many people are concerned there are some illegal guns in their midst, so Police and the Secretariat of State for Security should carry out a thorough audit so the community will not be left in any doubt about the number of firearms retrieved,” Mr Fernandes said in a statement in Balide, Dili.
But Police Second Commander Afonso de Jesus said joint operation reports had already been published and everyone was aware that many guns had been confiscated.
“As a result of the joint operation, we recovered a lot of weapons and every time this happened it was reported to the District Commanders and by the media. Some were kept as evidence, so there must be only a handful of people who do not know the facts,” said Commissioner de Jesus.
The Commander further guaranteed there were no longer any illegal weapons in the community, only homemade ones, which could be made by anyone at any stage.
“I want to impress on people that possession of homemade weapons is a crime,” said Mr de Jesus.
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From East Timor Legal News 01 April 2008
People in Liquica hand over weapons to the Joint Operation Command - The Commander of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixao, said that people in Liquica voluntarily handed over three grenades, 11 traditional weapons (rakitan), and 429 pieces of ammunition to the Joint Operation Command in Liquica district. Paixao has appealed to all the people, including those working with NGOs and agencies who will be visiting the area around the operation, to contact the Joint Operation Command in Dili before departing in order to avoid areas where military operations are taking place.