05 July 2013

Civil society demands investigation into police guns procurement from Indonesia

ETLJB 05 July 2013 - The issue of the procurement of guns for the East Timor police service continues to dog the government with the country's peak security monitoring NGO, Fundasaun Mahein, calling on the National Parliament to demand that the government of independence hero Xanana Gusmao establish an investigation into the procurement process. Earlier, the President of Parliamentary Commission B was reported to have said that the procurement process had not followed the lawful tender process.

The Acting Director of Fundasaun Mahein Joao Almeida Fernandes raised the issue again saying that “The General Commander of the PNTL(East Timor National Police) announced publicly that the PM2-V1 guns are already in Timor-Leste,” before the approval of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) had been obtained.

Mr Fernandes was reported by The Dili Weekly on 25 June that 75 of the PM2-V1 guns with the serial number 0001-00075s were purchased in Indonesia, with the PNTL to be the first in the world to use them.

“The National Parliament needs to demand the government quickly create an investigative commission to look into the guns, which were introduced without a transparent process at the beginning of 2013,” he said.

According to The Dili Weekly report, the police Deputy Commander Alfonso de Jesus refused to comment on the purchase of the guns but the President of Commission B of the National Parliament (National Security, Defence and Foreign Affair) MP Maria Lurdes Bessa confirmed thatthe commission had received a report from Fundasaun Mahein about the issue and they were currently concentrating on the issue.

“We do ask them to make an investigation team and that is underway, and we cannot publicise everything but the process is ongoing,” said the Commission B President.

The commission also has called the PNTL General Commander to go to the plenary to explain the accusations about the guns.

“We ask for an investigation because we have doubts about the process of buying those guns,” said MP Bessa.

Secretary of State for Security Francisco da Costa Guterres said an investigation was underway into the issue. Sources: The Dili Weekly 25/06/2013; ETLJB Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related ETLJB posts
Police to acquire 72 MB5 guns from Indonesia
No transparency in government purchase of weapons from Indonesia 
Timor-Leste Will Buy More Guns?
Police weapons procurement failed to adhere to tender process as MP warns against purchasing arms from Indonesia
PNTL buys PINDAD weapons and PNTL Intelligence Commander loses his semiautomatic assault rifle

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