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Grenade from the Kazanlak
Wednesday, 11 October, 2017 | 14:22 WIB
Grenade from the Kazanlak

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A meeting on the imported grenades was held in the Unex Area Cargo building at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten, Tuesday night last week. Its participants were from the National Police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Directorate-General of Customs. 

There were about 20 people in the room, including Chief of the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Insp. Gen. Murad Ismail and Chief of the Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) TNI Maj. Gen. Hartomo. They had gathered to talk about the 280 Stand Alone Grenade Launchers (SAGL) of 40 x 46 millimeter (mm) caliber, and the 5,932 rounds of 40 x 46 mm RLV-HEFJ grenades belonging to the Brimob being withheld at the Unex Warehouse. 

Those arms and rounds manufactured by Arsenal in Bulgaria were confiscated after a Ukraine Air Alliance cargo plane delivering them from Burgas Airport, Bulgaria, landed at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, at midnight on Friday two weeks ago.

Nearly an hour later, the meeting’s participants moved to the warehouse to check on the weapons and accompanying documents. They opened 28 wooden crates of weapons and 71 ammunition storage boxes, examined the contents, and then compared them to the manifest. After 40 minutes in the warehouses, the inspection ended with the signing of meeting minutes by four parties: BAIS, Brimob, Customs and Mustika Dutamas as the importer of the weapons.

The weapons check was announced by the National Police Headquarter, initially through the official Instagram account of the National Police Public Relations Division, @divisihumaspolri. The inspection, according to that account, showed the weapons and ammunition matched the import documents. "The results will be conveyed to the Kemenkopolkam (Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs)," said National Police Spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto, on Wednesday last week, verifying the information posted on that account. That post was later deleted.

The types and amounts of weapons and ammunition did match the documents. However, the type of ammunition did not match a previous claim by Setyo and Murad Ismail, namely that those rounds were to incapacitate and were not lethal. The tips of those grenades are lethal, a characteristic suited for military ordinance. Those projectile rounds with a range of 400 meters have six grooves. This indicates that in less than 14 seconds after being launched they will detonate, regardless of whether or not they are on target.

The detonations can be powerful. The code ‘HEFJ’ on the rounds is an abbreviation for ‘high explosive fragmentation jump’. This means that the grenade is a high-explosive which scatters shrapnel. The grenades are filled with pieces of metal which disperse in all directions upon detonation.

These findings were presented during a meeting at the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs on Friday last week. After the meeting, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto stated that the National Police may not possess such rounds. "Those rounds have been sent to TNI Headquarters for safekeeping. When they are needed there will be a process in place for their issuance," said Wiranto.

Brimob may take possession of the 280 grenade launchers after obtaining a recommendation from the TNI Commander. Brimob may use those weapons as long as the rounds only contain tear gas or smoke. 

Read the full article in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine

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