The Manus provincial police chief in Papua New Guinea has threatened to arrest management at the Manus detention centre for perverting the course of justice unless three Australian security staff accused of rape are returned to the country for questioning.
PNG police are investigating allegations that the three ex-patriates, who worked for Wilson Security, raped a local woman who also worked at the centre.
The Manus police commander Alex N'Drasal has expressed frustration that Australia's immigration department moved the trio from PNG shortly after the incident occurred earlier this month.
The department said it was made aware immediately in mid-July of an incident involving three ex-pat staff and a local worker, but it said no allegations of a criminal nature had been made in connection with the incident.
It rejected claims it was involved in a cover up.
However Mr N'Drasal has expressed frustration that Australian authorities removed the three workers from Manus before a formal investigation.
PNG Today reports that he has set a deadline to arrest centre managers after close of business on Thursday unless the three men are flown back to co-operate with the police investigation.