PNG POLICE MINISTER: POLICE CLASH INSTIGATED BY POLITICIANS

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MPs accused of funding security personnel to oppose government

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 23, 2012) – Police Minister John Boito has supported Police Commissioner’s comments that the clash between two groups of police in NCD last week was instigated by politicians.

He said in a statement that the incident involving the NCD based police and the Highlands based Special Services Division was being investigated.

"Commissioner of Police Toami Kulunga has assured me that all efforts will be made to investigate this matter and necessary action will be taken against anyone who is found to have broken the law," Mr Boito said.

However, Mr Boito placed the blame on certain politicians who he said, were adding fuel to the fire by funding and influencing both members of the RPNGC and the PNG Defence Force not to take orders from Commissioner Kulunga or Commander Francis Augwi.

Mr Boito said at around 2pm on Monday April 17, some members of the highlands based mobile squad now deployed in Port Moresby were on routine patrol when they spotted a suspicious motor vehicle along Waigani Drive.

"According to initial police reports this Land Cruiser 10 seater was driven by some policemen who were seen driving into the National Court Premises at 12pm that same day. "All police personnel are aware of the fact that the National Court has issued an interim Restraint Order preventing police from venturing anywhere near the National Court premises.

"As such members of the highlands based mobile squad became suspicious when they saw this vehicle with police occupants driving into the court premises. This vehicle was again spotted at the notorious crime infested Morata settlement and so members of the highlands based mobile squad decided to pursue this suspicious vehicle along Waigani Drive.

"They tried to flag down the vehicle, but the occupants defied their orders and instead drove to the Highway Patrol Base at Gordon.

"The members of the Mobile squad were agitated because the occupants of the suspicious vehicle defied their instructions and upon inspection they discovered that six policemen attached to the Highway Patrol Base at Gordon were in the vehicle.

"There was an altercation between the policemen in the ensuing event and some of those policemen who were inside the suspicious vehicle were apprehended and taken to the Boroko Police station.

"This incident has sparked off angry responses from some NCD based police personnel but the Police Commissioner has assured me that all efforts are being made to investigate the matter and he will brief my office once the investigations are completed.

"It is a known fact that certain members of the constabulary are not taking orders directly from the police hierarchy and are being funded and resourced by influential people outside of the normal police command.

"This trend is causing serious concerns for the police hierarchy and obviously police personnel who are legitimately entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the city, are frustrated and fed up with the actions of a few disloyal police personnel," Mr Boito said.

He assured the members of the public that the situation was under control.

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