Police arrest chiefs

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Some of affected coastal settlers in LordHowe
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Corporal punishment video gone viral on net

By Mike Puia

POLICE has begun arresting and investigating chiefs from the Lord Howe atolls in the Malaita Outer Islands.

Reports reaching Island Sun says the Chiefs had been spreading false information and using corporal punishment against their own people.

These chiefs claimed themselves to be the legitimate chiefs of the atolls, a claim that is hit by disputes.

They set rules and punish those they feel acted outside their interest.

Currently a video clip of a youth tired to a rope and being whipped by an elderly man has gone viral on the net.

The video clip showed the young boy being hit on the head (as well) with a stick before another elder stepped into dissuade the activity.

Yesterday RSIPF Media has confirmed the arrests of three suspects.

Lord Howe businessman, Reginald Aipia, was the first to welcome the arrest.

Aipia, who call these elders “con chiefs”, claimed these self-proclaimed chiefs are creating fear among their people.

He claimed those who work for his company, Ontong Javanese Association, have been bitten and received threat from these con chiefs.

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Aipia, a medical doctor by profession, is doing trial beche-de-mer farming in the atolls.

He said these self-claim chiefs have been a barrier to his operation since he ventured into trial beche-de-mer farm in the atolls.

Aipia said these chiefs wrote numerous letters to different authorities that led to his arrest.

He said they also wrote letters to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to stop his operation.

Aipia said these people used the chief status to hold meetings with some business houses.

He said they have a legitimate chief and they are surprised that some boldly claim to be chiefs and use this title to drive their personal agenda.

Aipia appealed to the police to deploy a team to the atolls and investigate the situation in the atolls and bring those responsible for causing fear and confusion to face justice.

Meanwhile RSIPF Media told Island Sun, Police at the Honiara City Central Station have arrested and charged the three suspects on 17 November 2018.

This is following a report that was filed on this matter to the Police. All three were charged with intimidation.

They have been released on bail to reappear in Court on 3 December 2018.

At the same time, the RSIPF is meeting with leaders of Lord Howe who are in Honiara to establish dialogue on the issue with the aim of reaching a peaceful resolution.

RSIPF call on all parties involved in this matter to restrain from taking the law into their own hands while police investigate this matter.”

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