The Keerom District Police stopped illegal gold mining activities in the Takai River, Senggi District, Keerom Regency on Monday (12/9/2022). Quoting https:// papua.inews.id/, the closure was carried out after the police received reports from residents. The Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit, Iptu Jetny L. Sohilait, said that the mining activity had actually been disbanded several times.
However, the remote location makes it difficult for the police to conduct regular monitoring. The police, according to Jetny, had given a stern warning to the mining workers to stop their activities. However, action had to be taken because warnings were not heeded and mining activities continued.
“With the control and closure of mining sites, it is hoped that in the future there will be no more mining activities, because if mining activities are found to be still being carried out in the future, we will legally process the miners immediately,” said Jetny, Tuesday (13/9/2022).
Furthermore, in controlling, Jetny said that his party did not legally process the miners instantly. This time his party only made an appeal. “But in the future, if mining activities are still carried out, then once again I emphasize, we will process it legally. And this time, we will take firm action against the miners who do not heed the curbing effort and appeal that we have made,” he explained.
Jetny said that after being brought under control by the Keerom Police, activities at the mining site had been completely stopped. “The current situation at the location, particularly at Takai River, is that the miners have left the mining site and have stopped their operations,” he added. Jetny admitted that the cessation of mining activities had been opposed by the ulayat rights owners because mining has become the source of income of the local community.
However, because gold mining was carried out using heavy equipment, his party immediately took action to close all these activities. “There was opposition from the ulayat rights owners, but because this activity already uses heavy equipment such as excavators, we immediately went down and stopped activities at the mining site,” he said.
The police, according to Jetny, did not just stop at the stage of controlling. However, it will continue to monitor the illegal activities. “We will continue to monitor, if in the future there are still illegal mining activities carried out at mining sites, then we will not hesitate to take legal proceedings,” he said.
Previously, the Acting Governor of West Papua, Paulus Waterpauw, also spoke about illegal gold mining activities in the Waserawi area, Masni District, Manokwari Regency. Quoting regional.kompas. com, Paulus said that there needs to be a solution to this problem.
Gold mining provides livelihood for the people who own territorial rights. Nevertheless, Paulus said, there needs to be rules to ensure the welfare of the community and maintain natural resources. “In relation to gold mining, we need to talk together because this is related to all things,” Paulus said in Manokwari, Friday (24/6/2022).
Paulus made the statement in response to the actions of a number of territorial rights owners who demanded a solution from the government regarding illegal gold mining. He claimed to understand the reaction of the community if the illegal gold mine was closed. However, he stressed that natural resources and the environment in the region must be protected.
“Later we will talk again, I will go to the location and talk to all parties who are there. It’s only temporary. I will also chair an integrated meeting with all elements to make sure of the steps we must take,” Paulus said. Meanwhile, the Regent of Manokwari, Hermus Indou, responded to the demands of the territorial rights owner who refused to close the illegal gold mine.
The owners of territorial rights demanded the issuance of mining permits for the people. “Of course, we support that people’s mining is very important in increasing income,” Hermus said. The Manokwari Regency government has no tendency to prohibit people from doing mining activities.
In the first half of this year, the Directorate of Special Criminal Investigation (Ditreskrimsus) of the West Papua Police named 31 suspects in the case of illegal gold mining (PETI) in Wasirawi Village, Manokwari Regency, West Papua, as reported by cnnindonesia.com. The Director of Special Criminal Investigation (Dir Reskrimsus) of the West Papua Police, Kombes Pol. Romilus Tam, through the Head of Public Relations, Kombes Pol. Adam Erwindi, stated that of the total 46 people arrested, 31 of them have been named as suspects.
“The Joint Ditreskrimsus Team together with the West Papua Police Mobile Brigade Unit arrested 46 people on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at the PETI location. In the process of investigation, 31 people have been named as suspects,” Adam said. “A total of 15 suspects work with a group of investor with the initials ONK, 10 suspects with a group of investor with the initials MS, and 6 other suspects as independent or traditional mining groups,” he said.
He said that since the naming of the suspects, the 31 people have been detained at the West Papua Police Detention Center for further legal proceedings. “Dozens of illegal gold miners were arrested under Article 158 and Article 161 of the Indonesian Law Number 3 of 2020 concerning Mineral and Coal Mining in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code with a threat of 10 years in prison and a fine of 10 billion rupiah,” he said.