13 Sep 2002

Solomon Islands police recover cargo vessel

10:29 am on 13 September 2002

Police in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, say they have recovered a cargo vessel taken over by what they call "criminal elements from North Malaita" last weekend.

The ship was taken by the group from North Malaita after reports that people from Langalanga were responsible for the disappearance of eight people from their area while travelling on a motorised canoe between Honiara and Malaita two weeks ago.

Deputy commissioner of police, Wilfred Akao says the vessel was retrieved in a special operation which involved a police patrol boat, late yesterday afternoon.

Mr Akao said the police did not encounter any resistance and no shots were fired.

Three youths who were aboard the vessel were arrested and are being interrogated by police.

Mr Akao also says another special operation aimed at disarming members of a group from North Malaita led by former MEF commander, Jimmy Rasta, is continuing.