14 Apr 2003

Gizo stabbing highlights border control problem between Solomon Islands and Bougainville

2:18 pm on 14 April 2003

Police in the Solomon Islands Western Province are still looking for the suspect of a stabbing in Gizo last Friday which has left a 17-year old victim in Intensive Care at Gizo hospital.

Police spokesman Superintendent Charles Lemoa says the suspect, known as Nathan, is thought to have crossed the border from Bougainville, and that he has been involved in other criminal activities in the province.

Reports from Gizo police says the man had attacked the young boy for allegedly swearing at him.

Mr Lemoa says that after a recent visit to the Province, the Police Commissioner raised concerns about troublemakers crossing over from Bougainville.

He says the Commissioner is liaising with his counterpart in Papua New Guinea about developing better border control between Bougainville and Solomon Islands.

Mr Lemoa says there's been an increasing amount of criminal activity in the area, including a suspected group of Bougainvilleans vandalising the office of the Provincial Administration in Choiseul last week.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Police Commissioner, Wilfred Akao says former members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in Gizo are assisting police in trying to locate the man.