KIDNAPPING MUST BE PUNISHED; DETERRED

Editorial

PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 9, 2009) – Kidnapping is one of the more terrible crimes against people.

Fortunately, in Papua New Guinea’s recent modern history, it is a fairly rare event.

But the crime against three young people, including the daughter of Nambawan Super fund boss Leon Buskens, is the kind of offence that has to be deterred.

It is the sort of experience that can affect a victim for a long time, even if there is no physical violence committed.

In this case, it appears that the kidnapping has another discouraging factor. Reports are that the crime was engineered by a notorious criminal from his prison cell at Bomana!

If this is found to be true, the administration of the prison comes into question.

Reports reaching the Post-Courier say that the mastermind is a man who is already known for his activities in other serious crimes around the country.

Mobile phones are ubiquitous, even in prisons. The allegation is that the criminal in Bomana jail was able to call the shots to his gang members via mobile phone.

Mobile phones should be on the banned list at prisons. We have to feed, clothe and shelter prisoners and ensure they get medical treatment. But to allow them to call and send text messages? No, that is beyond the responsibilities of prison officers.

They should be confiscating mobile phones and confining prisoners to approved forms of communications under approved supervision.

Regarding the kidnapping offence, it will have sent a chill up the spine of many of our more progressive, hard working members of society, the people who run companies and departments, the super achievers.

Kidnapping is prevalent in other countries and where it’s fearsome spectre reigns, it is a major barrier to development. When the thinkers and doers of society fear they will be snatched from their home or from their car and held to ransom, they will be less inclined to mix and to move around freely.

When that happens, they will ponder the desirability of holding a position of influence in a community where their safety is at risk, or that of their nearest and dearest.

Police Commission Gari Baki has questioned the effectiveness of our laws in this case. We urge that the law be examined quickly and that any ambiguities be cleared away and that extremely tough punishments are legislated for this crime.

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