PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 3, 2000 - The National/ PINA Nius Online)---A Cessna 402 light aircraft transporting a shipment of gold worth K 500,000 (US$ 155,500) from Wau to Port Moresby was hijacked in the air between Garaina and Wau in Morobe province.

The plane was forced to return to Garaina airstrip where the gold was stolen by six armed men.

Northern border coastal commander Alfred Reu confirmed that the aircraft, owned by North Coast Aviation, was transporting a shipment of gold from Wau to Port Moresby.

Mr. Reu said the plane picked up two passengers from Nadzab airport and flew to Wau. At Wau the plane picked up another two passengers and the gold and was on its way to Port Moresby when the pilot was forced at gunpoint by the two men he picked up from Wau to land at Garaina airstrip.

Mr. Reu said that as the plane landed at Garaina, they were robbed by four men who were waiting on the airstrip who, with the two aboard the plane, then escaped on foot towards the Morobe coast.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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