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Rampaging police hold Sepik village to ransom

Gelab Piak

Smain village west of Wewak is still in a state of shock and fear after police raided homes, took the village under control and held it to ransom for four hours on Monday.

The policemen left the village only after they were paid K2,400 in cash and given a pig worth K1,000.

Village councillor Ignas Sual said, when the officers arrived, they appeared drunk and harassed people, fired several shots, destroyed property and threatened to burn houses and rape the women if their demand for money was not met.

The police raid was in response to an earlier attack by several drunken youths from the village on a Forestry vehicle travelling from Vanimo to Wewak on 4 July.

Fearful villagers paid the ransom, and the police ordered the councillor to bring in the suspects the next day.

The suspects arrived in Wewak and were beaten by police before being released after they paid another K400. None was charged.

A detailed report of the earlier incident could not be obtained from police yesterday as the provincial police commander was attending a meeting.

A formal complaint of the incident has been reported to Wewak police for investigation.


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