Suspected pirates rounded up

National

BY HELEN TARAWA
TEN sea piracy suspects have been apprehended and charged in Northern province for being in possession of homemade weapons, Popondetta police have reported.
Provincial police commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari told The National that the suspects were intercepted by his officers at Gugumi Point near Sowara on the border of Morobe and Northern in the early hours of Wednesday.
Gerari said the four officers were on their way to Lae to pick up a robbery suspect when they came in contact with the group of youths.
“They searched the dinghy and found homemade weapons, pistols, guns and some other metal objects including iron rods,” he said.
“They (policemen) aborted their mission to Lae and took the men back to Kikiri beach where they called me and I sent a vehicle to pick them up.
“The suspects were brought into Popondetta and locked up in the cells. I am so overwhelmed by the quick action by my officers who stopped the youths.”
He added that the youths were from Aiama village near the Morobe Patrol Post and they were heading to Popondetta.
Gerari said they would have been in for some major illegal activity but the police were at the right place and the right time to apprehend them.
“Our operation along the border of Morobe and Northern is every effective and if we catch any suspicious looking people we will serve them a harsh penalty,” he said.
“We’ve had cases of sea piracy mainly by people from Morobe coming into Northern and it’s a concern for us.”
Meanwhile, Popondetta police yesterday uprooted 45 marijuana plants at Serembe village in Sohe district.
Gerari said the police were given a tip off by the communities in that area and they drove to the area about 50 kilometres outside of Popondetta.
A suspect who was allegedly involved in the planting of the marijuana was arrested and charged.
He said the police went as early as 3am and they caught the suspect off guard while two of his accomplices escaped.
Gerari said police conducted a similar operation a month ago and this was the second this year.

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