05 January 2019
Police in Auki arrived and cleared the landing craft of villagers who were looting its cargo. [Photo: supplied]

Police condemn action

in Auki


POLICE in Auki intervened and chased away villagers who were looting a landing craft washed ashore in the Langalanga lagoon, Malaita, Thursday this week.

It’s believed the landing craft was owned by ship operator Silent World.

Police say the vessel was on its way to Auki on Wednesday when it developed mechanical problem.

The bad weather forced it into the lagoon.

Malaita’s acting Provincial Police Commander Peter Kinita said certain villagers took advantage of the ship’s situation to enter it and removed cargo.

“It’s sad to see when people are supposed to be helping a vessel in distress, did exactly the opposite,” Mr Kinita said.

He said these villagers just moved in freely and take whatever they could lay their hands on.

When news of the ship’s situation reached Auki police, Mr Kinita said he immediately dispatched 14 of his officers to the scene on Thursday and took control of the vessel.

“Our officers stopped the looting, get the people off the vessel and brought the situation under control.

“This is a ship that encounters a disaster and people should not demand compensation, let alone looting it, even if it is washed on their shoreline.

“What these villagers did was simply illegal.”

Mr Kinita said two boats were brought to the scene later and managed to pull the wrecked landing craft away.

It was then escorted to Tulagi in the Central Province for repair.

Management of Silent World could not be reached for comments yesterday.