18 Jun 2003

Police in PNG stage siege over pay dispute

4:16 pm on 18 June 2003

Armed police yesterday lay siege to the Enga provincial headquarters in Papua New Guinea in a protest over unpaid allowances.

The Post Courier newspaper says the public servants were left in a state of panic, shock and confusion as fully armed police took over the centre at Wabag.

Six members of the Enga mobile squad, carrying guns, walked into the offices at 11 am, demanding access to all the offices.

They then locked staff up for two hours.

The paper reports that the provincial law and order adviser and the provincial administrator were threatened at gunpoint and ordered to release money.

The police claimed for allowances they say they were owed after working during the national elections last year.

The men were reportedly not paid and the paper says it is not clear how the situation was defused.