13 Jul 2007

Former PNG police minister arrested over weapons offence

5:11 pm on 13 July 2007

A former Papua New Guinea police minister has been arrested and charged with illegal possession of a pistol when searched at a police roadblock during the national elections.

A police spokesman, Superintendent Dominic Kakas, says Alphonse Willie was stopped at the roadblock near Mt Hagen's airport in the Western Highlands on Wednesday night and found to be carrying a pistol.

Mr Kakas says the former minister was locked up and charged along with his passengers, including one who was also charged with possession of cannabis.

Mr Willie is the sitting member contesting the Kerowagi Open seat in Chimbu Province.

He was made police minister in April last year but later sacked after a lacklustre performance.

Police have been manning roadblocks in the Highlands for a week to prevent the passage of illegal weapons which might be used by election candidates and their supporters to snatch ballot boxes, disrupt counting or intimidate officials.

Mr Kakas says another political candidate was arrested at a police roadblock in Chimbu on Wednesday for possession of a rifle.