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Procedure for Procuring Explosives

Monday, 18 October 2010

A company wishing to purchase ammonium nitrate must be in possession of a purchase and use licence issued by Police Headquarters before procuring any explosives.  To obtain a purchase and use licence, a company must first be in possession of a authorization, storage and ownership licence, also issued by Police Headquarters.  To become a producer of explosives, the procedure is even more complicated.  After obtaining a licence from the Department of Defence and Security, a prospective investor must get a recommendation from the Assisting Coordinating Body for Protection of National Stability (Bakorstanas), the Armed Forces Intelligence Agency (BIA) and the Regional Police (Polda).  After obtaining a recommendation from each of these three bodies, the prospective investor must then obtain an operating licence from Police Headquarters.

All mining companies that require explosives must order or purchase them from one of four companies (PT Dahana, PT Multi Nitrotama Kimia (MNK), PT Tridaya Esta, and PT Armindo Prima).  And these four companies are restricted in the amount they can purchase.  They are limited by a quota set by the Directorate of General Mining, Department of Mining and Energy.  Neither will these explosives manufacturers sell explosives to importers without authorization from their respective governments.

Given the procedure described above, the possibility of a leakage in the distribution of ammonium nitrate is very small.  Apart from not selling explosives to individuals and the fact that purchasing companies must be in possession of a purchase and use licence, ammonium nitrate is guarded round the clock by the police, at the PT MNK factory, in transit, and when being unloaded at the purchaser’s premises.  Also, transportation of ammonium nitrate from producers/importers to purchasers must be done by one of 13 companies in possession of a special ammonium nitrate transportation licence issued by the Department of Defence and Security.1 So, it would not stand to reason if materials like ammonium nitrate and TNT were available on the open market.

Manipulation is a possibility, whereby explosives are purchased and then the amount reported as having been used is greater than the amount actually used, so there is some still remaining in storage.  Left over dynamite, which is relatively expensive, is then sold under the counter to another party by unscrupulous personnel in the company concerned.

According to International Market Insight Reports, the volume of explosives (dynamite, nitroglycerine, and so on) imported by Indonesia in 1997, is recorded as 3,256 tons, valued at US$ 8.11 million.  This was almost double the volume imported the previous year.  The major supplier of explosives to Indonesia in 1997 was Australia, at 872 tons valued at US$ 1.2 million.

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