Guns Seized in Nusa Penida Sting

NUSA PENIDA

Two Nusa Penida residents have been arrested for trying to sell illegal firearms in a police sting, raising concerns that the remote, underdeveloped island off Bali’s southeast coast could become a centre for criminal activities.

Officers from Nusa Penida Police received reports that a local man had returned to the island after a visit to Lampung in southern Sumatra, and was offering handguns for sale on the black market.

Posing as private security guards from one of the hotels on neighbouring Nusa Lembongan, a team of officers approached the man, who was working with another local resident, and offered to buy a gun for Rp20 million (US$2,259). The suspects were arrested when the transaction was under way.

The detainees — identified as Nyoman Kartawan, 40, and Nengah Sudarma, 30 — were transferred to the regency police headquarters in Klungkung on Saturday, according to Nusa Penida Police chief Made Sudartawan. The gun was sent to Klungkung for forensic testing.

“The initial data seems to show that the gun is of the Taurus model, and was made in Taiwan,” Sudartawan told reporters on Saturday, adding that ammunition was also seized during the sting.

Local reports suggest the suspects had sold at least one other gun before being arrested.

“We’re investigating whether there were any other guns sold in some other place, because according to local sources there was at least one other weapon sold somewhere on Nusa Penida for Rp15 million,” he said.

Sudartawan said that initial enquiries suggested that Kartawan had bought the weapons in Lampung before returning home earlier this year.

“If the suspects can be proved to have violated clauses 1 and 2 of Emergency Law No. 12 of 1951, they could end up in jail for 20 years,” Sudartawan said.

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