POLICE on Wednesday dismissed media reports alleging that Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) removed some personal items from the 29 Bougainvilleans who were intercepted and taken into custody near Vella la Vella Island last week.
“The the reports are false, nothing less, nothing more,” a statement police issued yesterday said.
“When police arrested the men, we found two axes, two knives and two sea knives in their boats,” said Assistant Commissioner, National Operations, Mostyn Mangau, who was the Overall Commander of the Operation.
“These items were confiscated and never returned,” he added.
“Police further searched the personal belongings of the 29 men when they arrived at the Gizo Police station and all the items were recorded and later released to them after the Immigration Officer interviewed the men.
“When the men escaped they left their personal belongings behind which were later given to the nine who surrendered to police,” AC Mangau explained.
He adds: “As overall commander of the operation in Gizo, I am under no doubt that my officers acted professionally when dealing with the issue of the personal belongings of the Bougainvillean men as all the items were recorded during the search of their personal belongings.
“Anyone who has a complaint against the conduct of any police officer is at liberty to report the matter to the Professional Standard and Internal Investigation Department of the RSIPF.”