A VILLAGER who recovered an outboard motor boat that went missing two weeks ago is demanding compensation before he could release the boat to police.
The boat was carrying seven people and was on its way to Choiseul from Gizo when it went missing.
Two of the passengers were rescued alive, one was found dead, four are still missing presumed dead.
Police are treating the case with suspicion.
The boat was found last Wednesday in central Marovo with the petrol-tank and the 60-horse power engine still connecting to its rear.
But the villager who found it is demanding $100,000 before he could release it.
Sehge senior police officer Morris Rikihi said they are aware of the demand and have advised the villager not to take things in his own hands.
“Police are aware of the $100,000 demand, but this is illegal and my result in charges of larceny being laid against the man,” Mr Rikihi said.
He said the boat is still being kept at Buini Tusu village.
“We will wait for the owner of the boat to come forward before we can deal with this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile a corpse believed to be of the driver of the boat was found Wednesday this week in central Marovo with legs and hands missing, and have been transferred to Gizo hospital for post mortem and further investigation.
The two people that were rescued are in police custody.
Western and Choiseul province police have not ruled out foul play in this case.
By TRIXIE CARTER