PNG's Capital District Police Superintendent Bashed By Soldiers On New Year's Day

Turi jumped by PNGDF members after altercation over arrest of drunken soldier

By MIriam Zarriga

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 3, 2017) – NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi was assaulted during the New Year operations on Sunday morning. Several rounds were fired around the vicinity of the Boroko Police Station in a confrontation between the PNG Defence Force and the Police. The reasons behind the confrontation was the apprehending of a PNGDF Captain who had been doing a private escort while armed with a pistol, he was stopped at a road block near Taurama and upon being searched, he was disarmed and taken to Boroko.

He was reported as being intoxicated and had cocked his firearm and pointed it at the police officers at the road block.

When reports reached his fellow soldiers, two car load of soldiers drove to the station where Mr Turi passively told them to leave and they would sort the problem in the morning.

"They listened and left, it wasn’t long after they left that the captain who was not satisfied went to Murray Barracks and returned with another two car loads of soldiers this time with a Mac 58 loaded and mounted on top of the military police vehicle," Mr Turi said.

"I was walking out of King Kakaruk fast food restaurant with other police officers, when two young soldiers ran across the road and assaulted me. I managed to fight off the punches thrown but one of the soldiers landed a slap across my face when he came from behind," he said.

Mr Turi said that he had a fully loaded weapon which was hanging from a holster but he did not use that to defend himself.

"I moved back into the restaurant where by this time, the soldiers had taken positions around the front of the station, I went between the two forces and urged my men not to retaliate.

"The soldiers left soon after and my officers wanted to retaliate, but I stopped them.

"We are not like them, enough is enough, this is now water under the bridge, we have a duty and that is to the country and this city, I want you all to return to the New Year operations and not to take revenge, leave this issue with me and I will deal with it," he said.

The PNGDF Chief of Staff Colonel Raymond Numa said that the incident is now being investigated.

The soldiers have been identified as being from the Force Support Battalion with their Commanding Officer made aware of the investigation and are working with the PNGDF hierarchy to identify that was part of the group.

Col Numa said with a directive from the PNGDF Commander Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo to establish a disciplined force, the soldiers involved will be dealt with severely with the PNGDF to assist police with their investigations.

PNG Post-Courier
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