PNG Taskforce Office Break-In ‘Serious’ Matter For Police

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20 men allegedly raided offices to steal, destroy documents

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 6, 2013) – Police are treating the break and enter of the Task Force Sweep’s office as a "high profile and serious case."

National Capital District-Central assistant commissioner of police Jim Andrews said yesterday that he was concerned there might be ulterior motives for the break-in as important investigation documents had been stolen or destroyed.

The sweep office, located on the ground floor of Sir Buri Kidu Building in Waigani, NCD, was broken into and ransacked on Monday morning.

Andrews said though the building had other offices located in it, only the sweep’s office and that of the property administrator were targeted by the thugs.

"We are not ruling that out and will look into it," he said.

Andrews said police believe that a group of about 20 men took part in the raid and it would be interesting to know how they entered and exited the building.

Sweep leader Sam Koim wrote on social network site Sharp Talk yesterday, saying: "When you fight corruption, it fights back ... they (those under investigations) offer bribes, use political connections, legal processes, media propaganda and verbal threats. They are running out of options. Desperate people look for desperate means.

"We anticipated the inevitable, had backup files and it was so. I know this is not it. More is expected. Whoever it is, they must know that they have breached the law and the law is catching up with them. Their sins will find them out. It has nothing to do with me or my team members, nor the government of the day," Koim said.

Public response to Koim’s comments was immediate.

One commentator said: "Mr. Koim you are doing a great job. I agree with you that desperate people turn to desperate measures. This country is too big for whoever did this. Catch these greedy thugs and put them on the spotlight for whole of PNG to see."

Another said: "Sam Koim... we are with you... when those who are corrupt feel that the law is on their tail they will do desperate things... but don’t give up."

Andrews said no suspects have been caught as yet and their identities were not known as they were all wearing masks as per statements obtained from the three guards who were on duty that shift.

"Investigation has commenced but we will be depending heavily on the guards for information," he said.

Andrews assured Koim that they would work around the clock to apprehend the thugs.

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