THE Honiara City Central Response Unit (CRU) with the Police Response Team (PRT) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) were involved in a joint operation to raid locally brewed kwaso at the Koa Hill area in Central Honiara on Friday evening last week.
Police mounted the operation following information gathered from public that a number of people residing in the Koa Hill area allegedly involved in brewing and selling kwaso.
Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Honiara City, Chief Superintendent Alfred Uiga says, “The operation was a success. A large amount of kwaso and cooking equipment were confiscated and will form part of court exhibits.
“Five people have been arrested by police officers involved in the joint operation and the men are in police custody. They will be processed for court in due course.”
The confiscated items were allegedly used for brewing and distilling kwaso stored in container bottles were also confiscated.
The value of the items and street value of the kwaso seized is estimated at around $50,000.
The kwaso was stored in 16 x 200 litre blue jerry cans and 30 x 20 litre containers.
During the operation, the police officers came under heavy attack when rocks were thrown at them by a crowd of people at Koa Hill.
Two officers were struck by rocks and injured.
During the affray, one of the PRT officers discharged a single warning shot from his police-issued pistol in an effort to disperse the crowd and bring the situation under control.
PPC Uiga says, “Two police officers were injured during the operation by rocks thrown by attackers at Koa Hill. After the incident, the officers received medical attention for facial injuries and are now okay.
“The Professional Standards and Internal Investigation (PSII) team is now conducting a ‘Critical Incident’ investigation into the matter because a PRT officer discharged the warning shot.
“This is standard procedure whenever a police firearm is discharged. This is an independent investigation conducted to review all the facts of the incident. So far there has been no reports of any civilian injuries at this time.
“I call on the people at Koa Hill and elsewhere in Honiara to respect my officers when they are executing their duties.
“The investigation into the attack on the officer and the circumstances of the discharged warning shot has started and I appeal to members of the community to assist police with any relevant information.”
Honiara Central Police Station can be contacted on phone number 22999 or 23304 and PSII can be contacted on phone 26303 or 24108.