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Home invaders make off with more than US$20,000

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan 2, 2010) - An elderly Chinese business man was threatened with pinch bars and robbed of Vt2 million [US$20,145] cash savings during the Christmas period.

Daily Post was reliably informed that the break-in occurred at the home of an elderly Chinese businessman in Nambatu on Wednesday night, two nights before Christmas eve.

An unconfirmed number of thieves armed with pinch bars and other hand tools threatened the businessman and demanded that he handed them Vt4 million cash.

Fearing for his life the Chinese told them he did not have that money and handed over the keys to his safety box which held Vt2 million cash which the thieves took and made their getaway.

The robbery is under police investigation and they are not giving away any information.

In other incidents of burglary within the same period police arrested three suspects in the wake of a break-in at the Ministry of Internal Affair’s Statistics and Training office where thieves stole over Vt300,000 [US$3,021].

Meanwhile a suspect is in police custody after a girl was raped at Freshwota during the Christmas period.

The suspects are remanded and are waiting to appear in Court.

Otherwise other incidents were minor disturbances arising from disorderly behavior caused by drunks which has been dealt with by police.

Following these incidents police are urging government ministries, business houses and property owners to take extra care during this festive season.

"The best advice police can give when it comes to handling of cash is to bank their savings before such big celebrations," said acting Commander South Superintendent Kelison Bule.

"Women and girls are already vulnerable and are even more so when under the influence of alcohol so they should be cautious of what they do, where they go to and their associations in such celebrations.

"The public should celebrate New Year’s Eve responsibly and be aware that celebrating under the influence of alcohol in public places has its consequences," he said.

In addition Supt Bule is urging all drivers of vehicles to respect and be patient with police check points which they can expect this evening.

This is a cautionary measure to ensure drunk drives are kept off the streets during the New Year celebrations.

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