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$5,400 ransom paid for his release

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 30, 2009) – A senior lecturer at the Holy Trinity Teachers College in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province, was kidnapped and held for ransom on Friday.

Highlands police commander Assistant Commissioner Simon Kauba confirmed the crime and the release of the hostage later in the day after a ransom of K15, 000 [US$5,400] was paid to his kidnappers.

Assistant Commissioner Kauba said the lecturer, who was a former principal of the college, was held for four hours and released when the college paid the money.

He said the man was kidnapped and held for ransom and the college was targeted because the kidnappers suspected the lecturer’s son to have been involved in the looting of a sales vehicle.

He said on Friday a bus from Koglam outside Mount Hagen was used by a sales crew from a company (named) and while on its way back from a selling run at Rebiamul, outside Mount Hagen, the bus ran into the roadside drain and was stuck there in the ditch.

Mr. Kauba said youths allegedly from that area stole the promotional properties belonging to the company that were kept in the bus.

The bus owners and the men who were involved in the sales and promotion heard of the involvement of the lecturer’s son, allegedly went to his home and kidnapped him.

The police boss said the kidnappers took the lecturer and held him captive and demanded the money which was eventually paid by the college.

Kauba said the matter came before the police at about 3pm, four hours later and when police went into the village, the lecturer was released as the demand had been paid already. Police will investigate the kidnapping and aim to arrest those responsible.

Kauba condemned the actions of the college administration for not reporting the matter to police and giving in to the demand to pay the ransom. He said any kidnapping or any criminal matter must always be reported to the police for action.

He said the actions of the kidnappers were that of criminals and no one should have negotiated with them.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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