CONMAN’S U-VISTRACT MILITIA RE-ARM IN BOUGAINVILLE

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CONMAN’S U-VISTRACT MILITIA RE-ARM IN BOUGAINVILLE

By Augustine Kinna

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 29) – Noah Musingku’s men are regrouping and rearming themselves at their Tonu camp in Siwai, setting up roadblocks and causing tension in the area, Papua New Guinea police have reported.

[PIR editor’s note: Noah Musingku, whose "U-Vistract" pyramid scheme bilked millions of dollars out of investors, is a fugitive from the law in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.]

According to police reports from Panakei, Siwai district, U-Vistract soldiers are rearming themselves and beefing up security around the perimeters of their Tonu base camp.

"So far, Musingku had involved people in the area to cut grass and clean around the Tonu airstrip, telling them that he would pay them PGK1,000 [US$351] each a day per person for the work they do," a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said fear was rising in the area and people were confused despite the reconciliation ceremony which was witnessed between the Bougainville Freedom Fighters (BFF) and the U-Vistract soldiers.

A concerned person in the area, Thomas Kepu, told The National that people were afraid and not moving freely to do their normal activities.

Mr. Kepu said schools within and near Tonu such as the Tonu High School, Tonu Primary School and Moniotu Primary School was being affected.

He said student enrolments at the three schools this year had decreased due to students transferring to other schools in fear of their safety.

The Tonu health centre is also closed and health workers have fled the area to Moniotu and Konga.

"There is no health service and people in the area are walking long distances to Konga to receive medical attention," Mr. Kepu said.

He appealed to the Autonomous Bougainville Government leaders and chiefs in the area to help get rid of the firearms and take control of the area.

Musingku and his men, including five Fijians, fled the camp after the BFF attacked the camp last year.

Four of the Fijians have since surrendered to police, and are in custody in Buka, awaiting court appearances.

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