PNG PM Concerned With International Airport Security After Armed Bank Robbery

Investigation underway and repercussions could include 'termination of the security firms concerned if they are not able to perform'

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 10, 2016) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is not impressed with the lax security arrangements at the country’s international gateway – Port Moresby’s Jackson Airport declaring it cannot be allowed to happen again.

Mr O’Neill told Parliament yesterday that authorities have already been instructed to look into the issue of a bank robbery that occurred last Friday where a large substantial amount of money was stolen by armed men from Bank South Pacific’s foreign exchange terminal.

It was reported yesterday that investigations were underway to establish how the money, including foreign currency was "stolen" by an armed gang at the international airport about 4am last Friday.

BSP would not comment even yesterday on queries made by the media and police advised they were aware of the incident but did not have the proper information and details to make any comments as yet.

National Airports Corporation boss Joseph Tupiri said the closed circuit television (CCTV) was not working as it was not yet commissioned but assured there was normal 24-hour security.

But yesterday the issue caught the eyebrows of leaders, with specific questions from Pomio MP Elias Kapavore questioning Mr O’Neill if there were any solutions to improve security at the country’s international gateway.

"I understand that this incident took place at 4am on Friday and of course our security personnel should be, it doesn’t matter whether it is 4am, 8am or midnight they should be on alert on all occasions.

"This is an international airport and we cannot allow this lax security arrangements to take place there.

"We have already directed the officials to look into that and those decisions to be made include the termination of the security firms concerned if they are not able to perform, they must be terminated.

"So we will get the Minister responsible to look into that to make a statement and have a detailed reply to your questions at the later session of this parliament."

PNG Post-Courier
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