Police seize guns
POLICE seized three firearms on Mono island, Shortlands, Western Province, following recent spate of criminal incidents there.
But Commissioner of Police Frank Prendergast said no one has been arrested in connection to the confiscated weapons.
“We have confiscated three firearms – two riffles and a pistol,” Mr Prendergast said last week.
“Investigations into the incidents there at the border are still on-going,” he added.
The seizures followed an operation police carried out in the Shortlands after villagers complained that armed men from neighbouring Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, have been terrorizing them.
Mr Prendergast said police responded to some issues around logging and also allegations of arm people from Bougainville being in Mono.
The police commissioner said the operations are continuing.
“We are also working in improving our border management arrangement with other stakeholders.”
He said border security is important for two reasons, one being for national security and the other for the security of the communities in the border areas.
The police chief said it is a government police priority that arrangements are made for the review to happen.
“We need to work closely with internal stakeholders like immigration and others,” Mr Prendergast said.
“But then we also need to work closely with other agencies on the other side of the border, like the Bougainville police servicing and PNG customs.”
He said he had met last week with comptroller of PNG customs and they discussed how to better police the border.
“It’s something we will be closely pursuing in the next couple of weeks,” Mr Prendergast said.
“There are some practical things we can do while the border review, border security that the government asked for is being carried on.”
The people in the Shortlands have been reportedly living in fear following threats from armed thugs who continuously patrol the islands with high powered weapons.
It was reported that the armed men moved around the island harassing some of the landowners as a result of logging operations.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN