Baker’s mother charged

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THE mother, aunt and uncle of the country’s most wanted criminal Tommy Maeva Baker have been charged with harbouring him, according to police sources in Alotau.
In addition, 10 more members of his gang have been arrested and questioned over the burning down of the police barracks in Alotau last week, according to provincial police commander Supt Peter Barkie.
Mother Lorinda Kauma, 58, from Dabora, Rabaraba local level government, aunt Agnes Miro, 67, and uncle Maya Magumagu, 51, were arrested at the Musa Settlement in Alotau yesterday and charged with harbouring.
The three have been remanded to await their court appearance scheduled for Monday because the magistrate is out of town.
During her interview with police in Alotau, Kauma revealed that after the April 30 shootout with police, Baker’s wife had used her phone to call him. After the call, Kauma disposed of the Sim card.
Police allege that the three relatives had been assisting Baker since Oct 3, 2018, when he escaped while seeking treatment at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
During the time, Baker had led a gang of thugs to cause havoc among the town residents. They were involved in various lootings in November, 2018, in which 20 homes were burned down in Kitava as police pursued them.
On their confrontation with police last week, 12 appeared in court on Tuesday charged with arson. They are remanded at Giligili Prison.
Supt Barkie said another five men were arrested on Tuesday and charged with the burning down of the police barracks.
Then yesterday, Alotau police with the help of a team from Port Moresby managed to arrest another 10. Supt Barkie said the 10 were being questioned to determine if they were members of Baker’s gang.
“They have not been charged yet,” he said.
“They will also be questioned over other criminal activities like piracy and armed robbery.
“But they have not appeared before the Alotau District Court because the senior magistrate Wiole Sakatao is on an official trip to Port Moresby. They will appear in court on Monday for committal proceedings after (Magistrate) Sakatao returns. They are being remanded at Giligili prison with the first 12 suspects.”
Barkie said the 40 policemen from Port Moresby “deployed to beef up our manpower have helped to stabilise normalcy in town”.
“And we are thankful to the town residents for cooperating with us in investigating the burning down of the barracks,” he said.
Baker’s gang had clashed with police from 8pm Thursday to 5am on Friday. It started when police responded to reports of a wanted criminal staying at a house in the Niugini settlement.