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By Peter Miva

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 29) – Two criminal investigation officers with Lae police will each serve three months at the Buimo jail for illegally obtaining PGK300 [US$106] each from an Asian through false pretence.

The duo had been identified as constables Chris Kapun, 28, from Bamane village in Nondugl, Western highlands province, a widower with two children, and Patrick Puang, 29, from Rakunai in Kokopo, East New Britain province, who is married with a child.

Lae District Court magistrate Eric Mosoke last Friday found that there was enough evidence before the court to prove that they had obtained K600 from an Asian store manager, to drop investigations into the alleged operation of illegal machines producing counterfeit video and music compact disks.

The court heard that on April 4 this year, Puang applied for a search warrant from the Lae District Court to search the premises of the store in Toptown.

After he obtained the warrant on April 5, Puang and his CID colleague Kapun and another unidentified policeman went to the store to carry out the search.

While in the store, the store manager tried to stop them from carrying out the search but the three, using Puang’s own vehicle, loaded the machines and drove off.

The court heard that during the course of the investigation, the two officers proposed to the Asian to pay them K2,000 in order for them to drop the case, or they would put his story and photograph on the front of the newspapers.

The court heard that the Asian refused the offer and the two policemen reduced the figure to K1,000 and, subsequently, he paid them K600 (K300 each) after they proposed K500 instead.

Court documents showed that two officers failed to follow official police line of duties when they failed to inform the Asian about the search warrant.

They also failed to record the matter on the daily occurrence book and that they used Puang’s vehicle to load the machines instead of an official police vehicle.

August 29, 2006

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