Papua Separatists Suspected of Holding 15 Construction Workers Hostage
Jakarta. Papua separatists have not only taken a New Zealander pilot and five passengers of the Susi Air PK-BVY plane hostage, but reports revealed that the group might have also held 15 construction workers in Paro District hostage.
Papua Police revealed they had received reports of the 15 construction workers being taken hostage. The police, however, are still verifying the information.
"We have gotten word that 15 people working on a public health center in Paro District received threats from [the group's leader] Egianus Kogoya. But we are still investigating the information," police spokesperson in Papua Province Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo said on Tuesday night, as reported by Investor Daily.
The crime reportedly took place on Saturday. At the time, the public informed the Nduga regent of the 15 construction workers being held hostage.
"[The regent] later relayed the information to the Nduga police chief. The workers received threats because they were suspected of being secret agents. These workers did not have their ID cards when they were searched," Benny said.
According to the information received, the Papua separatists have taken the 15 workers and the pilot out of the Paro district and are already en route to Mapenduma.
"But this information is still under investigation," Benny said.
Benny added that the two cases would receive special attention from the Papua police.
On Tuesday, members of the separatist movement Free Papua Organization (OPM) burned a Susi Air PK-BVY plane on Paro Airport's runway in Nduga regency. The aircraft had a New Zealander pilot and five passengers on board. The separatist group took them, hostage.