Indonesia steps up watch over potential arms smuggling as Philippine rebels may shed arms under peace deal

National police spokesman Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo told The Straits Times on Monday (March 4) that surveillance is being stepped up at the sea border with the Philippines.
National police spokesman Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo told The Straits Times on Monday (March 4) that surveillance is being stepped up at the sea border with the Philippines.ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA

JAKARTA - Indonesia has boosted surveillance of its vast and porous sea border with southern Philippines, as the Manila government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) pursue a peace deal giving Muslims in Mindanao island broader autonomy in exchange for giving up their separatist goals.

Indonesian officials say they are worried that the deal, which involved the decommissioning of arms by the Muslim fighters, may lead to "leaks" with some of the guns and other weapons sold and smuggled into Indonesia.

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