4 Jan 2006

PNG province of Bougainville wants more police

11:25 am on 4 January 2006

The autonomous government of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea is planning to bring in special constables to address crime in the province.

Armed robbers stole what's described as a substantial amount of cheques from a bank in the southern town of Buin earlier this week.

Five Fijian former commandos are in the nearby rebel-held town of Tonu where they've been working as military trainers.

The Bougainville police minister, Ezekiel Massat, outlines the proposals currently being considered to introduce law and order:

"One of the options is to beef up the number of police. We intend to utilise the provision in the Police Forces Act, which is the employment of special constables, and hope that we can solve some of the problems that we're facing, one of which is extracting the Fijians out of Tonu."

Mr Massat says representatives of southern districts in the Bougainville assembly are talking to Fijians' purported employer, the wanted money scheme operator, Noah Musingku.

Three Fijians already handed over, detained, and accused of being ringleaders of the group are to be deported.

No charges were laid because there was no evidence implicating them under the Migration Act.