PNG Police Arrest Suspects Behind K6.3 Million Robbery

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2 main suspects, accomplices found by authorities

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 21, 2013) – Police have recovered more than half a million kina from the K6.3 million [US$2.3 million] that was stolen in Port Moresby a fortnight ago allegedly by employees of security firm G4S.

Two prime suspects in the robbery, Casper Louis of Goilala and Morobe parentage and Paul Steven of Goroka and Kairuku parentage, have both been apprehended in different locations of the country.

Steven was arrested at Hisiu in Central Province, while Louis was captured while travelling on the Highlands Highway from Lae to Madang.

NCD Metropolitan Commander Superintendent Andy Bawa yesterday revealed that apart from the two main suspects a number of accomplices have also been detained in the operation on this biggest robbery.

The first suspect to be detained was an accomplice and a relative of one of the prime suspects, Ricky Antio (Paul Steven’s cousin) who was caught on Thursday with K127,000 [US$47,301] in cash.

He led police to a house at Gerehu Stage Two where they found one of the eight boxes that had gone missing. Inside the tin box was K459,200 [US$171,030]. In total they recovered K586,200 [US$218,332].

The accomplice then led police on the Hiritano Highway to Naviapaku village in Hisiu and arrested one of the prime suspects, Paul Steven and his wife Nunu Tau, and locked them up at the Boroko police station cells.

Following their arrest a fourth suspect, Sonix Alowale, who is the owner of the house where the stolen monies were shared, voluntarily surrendered to police and is now being questioned. Louis was apprehended while travelling on a 15-seater bus to Madang. Police in Lae and Madang were tipped off that he was on his way and a roadblock was set up and he was apprehended at Walium station at 4:30pm on Saturday. He had in his possession K30,000 [US$11,173].

Yesterday, while Mr. Bawa was addressing a press conference, his men raided another house at Tokarara and recovered another K58,000 [US$21,602] and the pistol that was used in the robbery.

Mr. Bawa is confident that with the arrest of the prime suspects and their accomplices more people will be taken in with more money recovered.

He said if the suspects have used the money to purchase things then those things would be confiscated and used as exhibits and may end up back with the State.

He reiterated his call for those who have been involved one way or another to surrender to police before the police fronted up at their doorsteps.

"There were nine tin boxes containing K6.3 million. One tin box was opened and shared on the day the robbery occurred while eight were missing. Police have recovered one with more than K500,000 [US$186,227] while seven are yet to be accounted for and we won’t rest until we recover all the loot," said Mr. Bawa.

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