21 Jul 2009

Riots reported in PNG's Popondetta

3:12 pm on 21 July 2009

Reports from Papua New Guinea say hundreds of people went on a rampage in Popondetta last Friday and looted Asian-owned shops in the town.

The Post Courier reports that rioters smashed the Bank South Pacific branch, the Air Niugini office and emptied the town's six Asian-owned shops.

The paper says the rampage and looting was sparked off by oil palm growers who had come into town to collect their money but were turned away by the bank.

The farmers could not be paid because the bank could not clear the cheque paid in by the Higaturu Oil Palm Company because of a communication problem that day.