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Australian billionaire's luxury yacht boarded by PNG pirates


ANTIPODEAN, a luxury yacht belonging to Australian media magnate Kerry Stokes has been robbed by ‘armed pirates’ in Papua New Guinea who stole phones and laptops before escaping.

The billionaire boss of Channel Seven flew into Madang on the east coast of PNG with his family on Friday.

Mr Stokes's luxury yacht arrived from Cairns on Wednesday and was anchored off Kranget Island after refuelling at a nearby marina, said former Madang governor and owner of the Madang Resort Hotel, Sir Peter Barter.

"In the early hours they were boarded by armed pirates and robbed," Sir Peter said in an email obtained by the ABC.

He said the thieves stole watches, mobile phones, laptops, diving equipment and cash.

A dismayed Kerry StokesIt is not clear whether Mr Stokes (left) and his family were on board the yacht at the time of the robbery. There were no reports of injuries.

"Naturally they wanted to tour Madang but after this incident they locked themselves aboard their motor yacht," Sir Peter said.

A government official in Madang confirmed the incident had taken place.

Police are reportedly investigating but could not be reached for comment.


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John Kaupa Kamasua

All our good and well-meaning leaders are very quick to condemn such an attack on tourists and visitors then get back into a slumber.

All the leaders from the tourists destinations should now sit up and take notice - if more of such attacks happen, these provinces are likely to lose tourists or the visitors will be few in numbers.

It is time the leaders took some responsibility in providing a safe environment by funding and equipping the police personnel in those provinces. Just a suggestion.

Samuel Roth

Is it a curse or a wake-up call?

Peter Kranz

Michael - you may be right, but remember this. Billionaires like Stokes don't care much about the local environment as long as they can turn a buck. And certainly can't tolerate critics.

Michael Dom

My friend Peter Kranz, I believe your comment is unfair and may be out of context.

John Kaupa Kamasua

Yes but to me another nail in the coffin to scare tourists away from some of our premier tourist destinations.

Baka Bina

I saw it berthed over at Kranget Island and had no clue that it was a billionaire's boat. Yeah, like the Madang Resort was not good enough for him.

Do people travelling realise that when they travel they want to experience what that other place has. You should not travel with the expectation that what you have at home is what the other should have.

We in PNG have very little that can compare and they have to come here expecting rudimentary luxuries. Don't try bringing your comforts here because your comforts are dependent on other external factors, those external factors are not available here, like police and security.

It was a case of an opportunity presenting itself for our part-time opportunists.

Peter Kranz

Well cry me a river. A superyacht worth $50 million or so, owned by one of Australia's richest men (and owner of Channel 7) gets robbed of a few mobiles whilst slumming it in one or the world's most impoverished countries.

Give me a break.

How about Stokes stumping up for a few dialysis machines for PNG hospitals? Or is he too busy planning another series of Desperate Housewives?

Lindsay F Bond

Sympathy goes to those deprived of their possessions and deprived of enjoyment at their visit to the PNG coast.

Shines a beacon on outlaw opportunism and its capacity to inflict self-harm upon the body of law-abiding folk who are, far and away, the constituents of a yet poor nation.

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