‘Police raided my guest house’

National, Normal


THE owner of a guest house in Banz, Western Highlands province, has alleged that police went on a rampage at his Jimi Valley Traders guest house, causing excessive damage and attacked his employees and illegally detained five of them.
He alleged that Mobile Squad five and seven and the zones police went on a rampage inside the guest house last Tuesday  when looking for a Milne Bay woman who allegedly had run away from her husband from Baiyer and was staying at the guest house.
Guest house owner Robert Mnnd said last Thursday that the policemen had attacked his employees, damaged his staff living quarters and searched the rooms including his mother’s house without a search warrant.
Mr Mund said the security guard at the front gate was hit in the face by the butt of a gun when he refused to let the policemen into the premises while another guard was taken to police custody and is now behind bars at the Mt Hagen police station.
He said four female employees were also taken to Kagamuga police station and detained for about four hours before they were released around 7pm.
He said the policemen even ordered his clients out of the club.
Mr Mund said the manner in which the policemen conducted the raid was unprofessional and he would seek legal action against them.
An employee of the guest house, Bosip Malen, said a woman from Milne Bay ran away with another man to the guest house and stayed there for two days before her partner left her and went away two weeks ago.
Mr Malen said since the woman had no friends to go to, the female staff at the guest house looked after her for a week by providing shelter and food.
He said her husband after finding out that his wife was at the guest house, went there on April 4 to take her home but the women refused to go with him.
Mr Malen claimed that the husband then told his wife and those looking after her that he would come back with K500 and pay as compensation before taking her home but instead he came back with police.
Provincial police commander Supt Kaiglo Ambane confirmed the incident last Friday.
However, Supt Ambane denied any police wrongdoing in the matter saying that the police had conducted a normal police operation to rescue a woman who was held captive in the guest house.
He said no search warrant was needed because they were there to rescue a woman whose rights have been deprived by some people.
Supt Ambane said the woman was rescued during the operation and taken to Mt Hagen police station where her husband and his sisters came and took her home.
He said police did not attack the security guard but the guard had fallen and injured himself.
He also said that one of the guards arrested was charged with hindering police duty when he was reluctant to open the gate and allow police to go in and search the premises.
Supt Ambane claimed that the employees at the guest house fabricated the story to cover up their wrong doing.