31 Dec 2013

PNG police call off latest search for missing scientists

2:52 pm on 31 December 2013

Papua New Guinea police have given up the hunt for five scientists and three crew believed to have been abducted from a boat nearly two and a half years ago off New Britain island.

The scientists, on a research assignment for the Medical Research Institute, were last seen travelling by banana boat to an island off West New Britain on August the 1st in 2011.

The body of one man, believed to be the skipper of the vessel, was recovered the following month and the boat was found in Sepik.

But police have long believed the scientists had been kidnapped and were being held.

A stepped up inquiry in recent months led to suspicions the two women among the group of scientists were being held in a remote part of West New Britain.

But the Post Courier newspaper reports police have now ended that inquiry, citing a lack of co-operation from local residents.