2 Dec 2014

PNG police hunt airport robbers

5:12 pm on 2 December 2014

Police in Papua New Guinea are searching for up to 30 suspects they believe were involved in an armed robbery at an airport in the country's second city, Lae.

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Photo: AFP

A group of men stormed Nadzab airport early on Monday, reportedly keeping passengers captive for about two hours while they ransacked offices before fleeing.

The Morobe Provincial Police Commander, Kaiglo Ambane, says the men came in from the runway in the middle of the night, catching the nine security guards in the terminal by surprise.

He says the guards were tied up and ordered at gunpoint to huddle with passengers at the front of the terminal.

The gunmen then tried to break open the safe, but when they couldn't they got angry and ransacked and looted the rest of the terminal.

Mr Ambane says police have been able to identify some of the suspects involved, and the level of the sophistication means police haven't ruled out the possibility of some kind of conspiracy with someone who had inside knowledge.

He says flights to and from the airport are again operating normally, and security has been beefed up.