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Inmate used mobile phone to contact accomplices outside prison

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 9, 2009 ) – A well known bank robbery suspect, who is in custody at the Bomana Jail is believed to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of three people in Port Moresby last week. Police believe the suspect had converted his cell block at the jail into a control centre where he was controlling the kidnap and K5 million extortion drama involving the chief executive officer Leon Buskens, whose daughter was one of the hostages held captive for five days by the criminal gang.

The suspect was said to have communicated with his accomplices outside prison by mobile phone, prompting senior police officers in Port Moresby to urge the Correctional Services Commissioner to take a tough stand on the use of mobile phones in jails.

Local Police with the assistance of Australian Federal Police who were requested to assist in the operation had cracked down the kidnapper’s communication lines and were monitoring all the calls by the kidnappers when they realised that the person giving the orders and directions was operating from the Bomana Prison camp.

They moved in to the Bomana prison cells and confiscated the phone from the prisoner in his cells.

"The CIS Commissioner has to stamp his feet down because despite his numerous statements to curtail phones been smuggled in, we discovered that this prisoner was allowed to use his phone freely when we busted him, had it not be for the technology used by the AFP it would have gone un-noticed," said a Police officer who didn’t want to be named. "What is Bomana? Is it any ordinary place or what, the CIS Commissioner has to take responsibility and ensure that his officers are not complacent and seen as a threat to the Prison as a place where offenders are kept to be punished for their crimes and not given too much freedom," he said.

NCD Metropolitan Commander Fred Yakasa when announcing the release of the three hostages last week also appealed to the Government and leaders to take this current wave of "sophisticated" crimes especially kidnapping seriously and ensure that our Police Force is equipped.

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