Armed men take over plantation

National, Normal

The National, Friday 10th May 2013


ARMED men have taken over the Kalanga coffee plantation in Kimil, Jiwaka, after chasing out its shareholders and management team.

Chairman of the board of directors Simon Mek yesterday said the landowners formed a company called Bangi Parek Ltd and bought the plantation with the assistance of a K500,000 loan from the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation.

The armed group were not members of the company, he said.

Mek said several complaints were lodged with the Mt Hagen and Banz police to arrest the group but nothing had been done so far. 

He said five people had been already killed by this terrorist group since 2006.

“I give fuel and lunch money to the Mt Hagen police to arrest this group and confiscate their guns but still no action was taken,” he said.

He said the majority of the shareholders wanted concerned authorities to intervene and disarm this group, prosecute them and give the plantations back to the landowners.

The plantation was made popular during the 1960s and 1970s for its distinct flavour under its Blue Mountain Coffee brand.

It was owned by an expatriate, Millen Banze, and sold to the landowners in 1980 for K1.2 million. 

He also sold the Kar Kofi and Wara Waghi coffee plantations.

 when he left the country.

Mek said they managed the plantation and factory until 1995 when they sold the factory to West New Britain Oil Palm to repay their bank loan.

He said some locals who were not financial members of the company took over the plantation in 2006.