Police arrest Papuan man alleged of killing military member in Paniai – TPNPB claims suspect was not involved in assassination

On 11 May 2024,  at approximately 10:40 am, the Damai Cartenz Police Task Force arrested Mr Anan Nawipa, a 30-year-old motorcycle taxi driver living in the Widimeida Village, Paniai Regency. Police investigators believe that he is responsible for the murder of Lieutenant Oktovianus Sogalrey, head of the Aradide 1703-4 military post. Police officers found the victim’s mobile phone during the arrest in Bapouda Village, Paniai Regency. The officers could track Mr Nawipa’s location because the mobile phone still contained the SIM card belonging to the victim.

On 15 May 2024, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) issued a video and written statement in response to the arrest of Anan Nawipa by Indonesian security forces. The TPNPB claims that Nawipa is a civilian, and not affiliated with the TPNPB. According to the local TPNPB commander in Paniai, Mr Nawipa was not involved in the killing but happened to pass the site of the crime shortly after the assassination. Mr Nawipa reportedly found Lieutenant Sogalrey’s body lying on the road. He stopped his motorcycle and took his mobile phone before continuing to Enarotali.

TPNPB members are highly cautious about communicating on mobile phones because they know that Indonesian security forces can monitor conversations and track the locations. This supports the claim that Mr Anan Nawipa was not involved in the assassination of the military member but later stole the mobile phone without being aware that the police would track his location.

TPNPB video statement, 15 May 2024