10 Nov 2013

Cooks Govt puts up reward for those responsible for recent fires

11:32 am on 10 November 2013

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, has announced a more than 8,000 US dollar reward for the capture of the person or persons responsible for the recent string of fires on the island.

Speaking from Guangzhou, where Mr Puna is attending the 2nd China Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Co-operation Forum, he said the reward would be put up by the government.

He says the cash incentive will be paid out for the capture, arrest, and conviction of those responsible for these deliberate acts of destruction.

The recent blazes at Nukutere College and Avatea School have been declared as acts of arson.

The fire destroyed 12 classrooms and has put communities across the island on edge.

Cook Islands News also reports that the probe into last weekend's fire at Turoa Bakery and the adjoining Saltwater Cafe is being assisted by two insurance investigators from New Zealand.

Henry Puna said the crime of arson is serious and won't be tolerated.