Mobile squad officer held in firearms case flees to Aitape

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A Port Moresby-based mobile squad officer who was detained at the Vanimo police station for allegedly discharging a firearm in public escaped from custody last Friday.
West Sepik provincial police commander Supt Robert Gesa said yesterday: “The officer escaped from the police cells in the early hours of Friday morning and returned to Aitape in a dinghy.
He was arrested on Thursday for discharging a firearm at East Tower. “I have now given instructions for that officer to be arrested,” Gesa said.
He said that the policeman’s escape from the police cells would be investigated.
The officer is attached to the mobile squad that was deployed to Aitape-Lumi by the MP and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch.
Sources said that the soldiers and police officers had pursued the officer in their dinghy on Friday morning after seeing him escape.
“However, their dinghy’s engine developed mechanical problems so they returned to Vanimo. That officer escaped in the dinghy that they had used to bring some suspects from Aitape to Vanimo. So while in Vanimo, he got drunk and discharged his firearm at East Tower at about 2pm.
“His action caused panic and the public scattered for cover. The public then alerted the Vanimo police officers and soldiers and they went and disarmed him. They brought him to the police cells and
detained him. However, he escaped the next morning.”

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