PNG police chief decries killing of constable

2:09 pm on 2 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner Gari Baki has condemned the shooting of Constable Samuel Pias in Alotau by an armed gang over the weekend.

Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

Alotau in Milne Bay province is a popular tourist destination. Photo: Supplied

Mr Baki said it is shocking news for the family of the slain policeman as well as the local constabulary.

The commissioner ordered a full and immediate investigation into the shooting and Mr Baki said they will not rest until the criminals are brought to justice.

Nine suspects have been identified but no arrests have been made.

Mr Baki has appealed to the people of Milne Bay to assist police and bring the criminals to justice saying a handful of criminals could spoil the name and image of the province.

Alotau lockdown

Yesterday Alotau was locked-down as police dealt with a suspected hostage situation.

Police who were responding to reports of a robbery at the PNG Airlines ticketing office, found it locked with staff still inside the building.

A break down in communication and some misinformation led police to believe the gunmen were still in the building holding the staff hostage, when in fact the staff had locked themselves in out of fear.

Police then shut down the entire block for several hours, believing the armed gunmen were still in the building.

The Provincial Police commander for Milne Bay Joseph Morehari said it was a false alarm but police are bringing in reinforcements to hunt the killers of their dead colleague.

"I will say that Milne Bay is safe but we have a gang in town that we need to remove first before everything should go back to normal," he said.

"These are cop killers we are hunting them down. We have got a special unit from Moresby here to assist us to track these people down."

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