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Port Moresby raid nets 20 suspects

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 1, 2008) – A Chinese national believed to be a triad leader, escaped after police raided a restaurant in Port Moresby in search of him for allegedly injuring another Chinese male while demanding protection payments.

[PIR editor’s note: "Triad" refers to organized crime in China.]

Police crashed a birthday party last Thursday and arrested 20 Chinese, including a three-year-old boy, at a restaurant at Boroko at about 10pm.

Police claimed that the Chinese had travelled in from throughout PNG to celebrate the birthday of the triad leader.

Members of the organised crime, drug and mobile squads were informed and raided the restaurant. But the suspect had escaped.

Those who were rounded up were all from Fujian province in China.

They were brought to the police headquarters in Konedobu and interviewed into the early hours of Friday morning. Four had no entry documents and were charged accordingly.

They were released on K5,000 bail and will appear at the Boroko District Court today.

Six others, including the parents of the three-year-old, were released but told that they would be called if required.

All the others were released because their papers were in order.

National crime director Chief Supt Donald Yamasombi said the triad leader is wanted for allegedly hitting a Chinese Malaysian on the head with a pistol butt at a restaurant at Boroko on Aug 17.

"The victim was assaulted because he refused to submit to the demands of the suspect to pay him protection fees, which is a common triad operation of illegally soliciting fees using threats on other Chinese-run commercial outlets," Mr Yamasombi said.

"We raided the suspect’s hideout at a restaurant at Gordon but he was out.

"We arrested and charged two of his Malaysian friends, who had overstayed their visas by six weeks, and had them deported on Aug 21.

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