Harapa villagers plead gov’t & police help

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BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

GIZO

PEOPLE of Harapa village in the Shortland Islands are calling on the national government and the police not to neglect them.

They claim that since last week’s armed robbery at the Malohuna logging camp, nothing has been forthcoming from the national government and the royal Solomon Islands police force (RSIPF).

It was reported that on March 25, eight men believed to be from Bougainville, with the help of two Solomon Islanders, held personnel at the logging camp at gun point and took off with cash, valuables and machines.

“This case is not new now which police is doing very little about and we call on the national government to quickly addressing Solomon Islands border issues of this country,” says a village elder, who wants his name withheld in fear of repercussions.

He says they want to feel and see RSIPF presence on the ground at their communities, rather than hearing on the radio or reading in the newspapers that police claims to be investigating the incident.

“Investigation is still ongoing, and on several times police teams were sent on shift duties to Malohuna to carry out investigations but our concern are to secure our border securities first over neighbouring Bougainville.

“If the RSIPF and national government are taking these issues lightly and should anything happen between the parties in the future, who are we to blame?”

Meanwhile, it is understood from yesterday’s police media release that two of the armed robbers were arrested by police on March 29.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Western Province, Chief Superintendent Mathias Lenialu, says, “The successful arrest of the two alleged robbers was possible in a joint police operation comprising of the Police Response Team (PRT), police from Western and Choiseul Provinces as well police investigators from Honiara and officers of Police Maritime.

“The two men are facing one count each of robbery and appeared in court on March 31, 2018 and ordered to be remanded in the Gizo Prison, Correctional Service Solomon Islands (CSSI) Centre.”

The two arrested suspects are believed to be in their 40s and 20s, and are Solomon Islanders.

The investigation into the matter is continuing as other alleged robbers are still at large.

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