PNG POLICE YET TO QUESTION MINISTER OVER AMMUNITION CACHE

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Senior official hasn’t returned to Port Moresby despite request

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 5, 2012) – Police in the nation’s capital are yet to question a senior cabinet minister in the government over a large quantity of ammunition found in his home.

Acting NCD metropolitan commander Supt Norman Kambo said the MP was still in his electorate and had yet to return to Port Moresby.

"The commander (NCD-Central Fred Sheekiot) has already written to the MP requesting him to voluntarily come in for questioning," he said.

"As soon as he arrives, he will be called in for questioning."

On Dec 27, Port Moresby police, acting on a tip-off, searched the MP’s home and discovered a large quantity of ammunition reportedly worth over K500,000 [US$229,674].

[PIR editor’s note: In addition to the value of the assembled arms and munitions found in the MP’s home, the arms are supposedly only accessible to security forces and police in Papua New Guinea.]

Media reports said when the MP was contacted on Dec 29, he denied being in possession of the ammunition and claimed he had been set up by political enemies who colluded with police to discredit him.

Kambo said the ammunition was for guns like SLRs, M16s, .22 and 9mm.

"Police have yet to establish why the MP would keep such a large quantity of ammunition in his home," Kambo said.

"At this stage we do not know how and where the MP got the ammunition. But we believe the ammunition was internally sourced."

Sheekiot earlier said as a national leader the MP would be given the courtesy to present himself for questioning.

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