31 May 2002

Solomon Islands police say 98 high powered weapons surrendered in past six days

6:52 am on 31 May 2002

98 high powered weapons, illegally held by Solomon Islands police for nearly two years, have been surrendered over the past six days.

A police parade in Honiara was followed by the surrender of 45 guns held by members of the paramilitary and the Rapid Response Unit.

A police spokesman says 43 of those guns were high powered.

The handover ceremony came after a similar exercise on Friday when 55 high powered guns were handed in.

Police authorities are not able to say how many guns are still held illegally by their officers.

An amnesty for the surrender of guns and stolen property ends tomorrow, with the Government saying those who fail to comply will face the full force of the law.

However, the Peace Monitoring Council's Chairman, Paul Tovua, is not expecting immediate arrests.

"Perhaps not in the immediate time but over years, I mean the police is there and whatever it is, the law must take it's proper course."

Paul Tovua