The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and police from Bougainville on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) side of the common border are working together to find suspects in the recent armed robbery incident at Maleai Village in the Shortland Islands, Western Province last Wednesday.
RSIPF Assistant Commissioner (AC) for Provincial Police, Joseph Manelugu says, “RSIPF officers and police from Bougainville met at Tuha Village near Nila in the Shortlands on 10 February 2019 and agreed to work together to find the suspects.”
AC Manelugu adds: “The meeting with the South Bougainville Police Commander yesterday in the Shortlands was a good start to progress the investigation into the alleged armed robbery incident.”
“I am pleased with the outcome of the meeting during which a very senior police commander from Bougainville include three of his officers, two community representatives from Bougainville and one Custom Officer from PNG pledged to assist the RSIPF to find out if Bougainvilleans were involved in that recent incident,” says AC Manelugu.
It is alleged that at about 6.30 am on 6 February 2019 a group of armed men believed to be from Bougainville as well as from Solomon Islands went ashore at Maleai and discharged firearms, during which a civilian person from Maleai Village as well as a foreign national sustained serious wounds.
The group of armed men also allegedly looted the foreign national’s valuable properties and took off with a large sum of money.
Initial police investigations confirmed that the group of armed men were also fully armed with high powered guns and with masks to cover their faces.
AC Manelugu says that the RSIPF police patrol boat LATA is currently in the Shortlands with additional manpower of officers from Honiara, and they are assisting officers from Western and Choiseul Provinces to investigate the incident and to boost the security at the border.
The officers are also conducting community awareness in the Shortlands including at Maleai Village.
– Police Media