Vanuatu Police Report Criminal Ringleader Captured After Operation

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Arrests of those allegedly harboring fugitives highest in two years

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 31, 2012) –The person suspected being behind the masterminding of criminal activities around Port Vila has been arrested by Police. His identity is not yet released by Police.

Arresting the suspected Criminal ringleader was a huge breakthrough for the week long Police operation to recapture escaped high-risk inmates and crackdown on criminal activities in the Capital.

There have been 44 arrests since the launching of the operation including 3 of the escapees but it is yet unclear whether the suspected criminal master-minder was one of the escapees.

Another possible suspect would be ex-prisoners whom Daily Post understands some were apprehended by Police in connection to harboring escapees and recent criminal activities.

"The police would like to assure the public not to have fear. The main person who has been master minding the criminal activities in port Vila is now in the hands of the police and police will continue to investigate and deal with the other escapees who are still on the run to make sure they are captured," this statement was released by the Police yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Prime Minister Sato Kilman has vowed those people hiding or abetting escapees will be dealt the harshest possible punishments, facing the fullest penalties legally possible in the country.]

The Port Vila Police Station Watch House Manager has confirms that the operation to recapture the escapees records the highest number of harborers compared to past years.

"A total of 44 harborers were arrested for harboring and aiding the escapees. This is due to the wide availability of communication means between the harborers and the escapees which is against the law of the Republic of Vanuatu," stated the Police.

"The communities must cooperate with the police to help reduce criminal activities.

"The police are now investigating the case of the criminal activities which have occurred during the past four weeks.

"The police would like to appeal to the public to provide any information which may help to recapture the escapees who are still on the run to come forward."

Meanwhile the Vanuatu police Force is preparing itself towards the ACP/ EU meeting which will be held next month and the official launching of the operation will be on Friday 1st of June 2012.

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