Buai seller killer

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PAPUA New Guinea’s 44th Independence Day anniversary celebrations on Monday were marred by violence when a buai (betel nut) seller was allegedly battered to death by police in Rainbow, Port Moresby.
Relatives and friends of Peter Pamben protested outside the Boroko police station, calling on National Capital District (NCD) Metropolitan Supt Perou N’dranou to have the cops involved in the killing arrested immediately.
The killing has turned the market area into a “ghost town” with people fearing unrest. The Stop & Shop in front of the market was also closed.
Boroko police station commander James Wafihambu met with the relatives yesterday and listened to their grievances.
Wafihambu told them that N’dranou declined to meet and had asked him to tell them to follow procedures and allow the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to probe the incident.
“I cannot speak on your behalf but I will bring your appeal to his attention again,” he told the relatives. Evans Arlo told The National that his brother, a bachelor, was allegedly killed in public and in broad daylight by policemen who had arrived at the market to chase away betel nut sellers.
“Peter was chased by the policemen from the market to the Port Moresby National High School gate, where he was caught and (allegedly) battered to death by the police.
“They then, (allegedly) emptied his pockets and stole his money,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if he was a buai seller or not. He did not deserve to die like that.”
Arlo said they were protesting outside the police station to demand the immediate arrest of those responsible for Peter’s death.
“We are appealing to N’dranou and the good Police Minister Bryan Kramer to please have those involved arrested immediately.
“Too often, we have been (allegedly) assaulted, beaten, harassed and robbed by policemen,” he said.
Arlo also called on NCD Governor Powes Parkop to review and reconsider the betel nut ban policy that had already claimed too many lives.
“The country is going through tough economic times, and many people depend on their betel nut tables to make ends meet in the city.
“Why are policemen beating up men and women for selling betel nuts? Betel nuts are also being sold in police stations.
“Even in police barracks, policemen’s families are selling betel nuts,” he added.
Arlo said they would continue to protest outside the police station till the perpetrators were hauled up.
“We have already lodged police reports and spoken with the Gerehu police station commander, and we are now in Boroko. Policemen are not above the law,” he added.
Peter’s family members, relatives and friends said they would continue to protest outside the police station till arrests were made and investigations conducted.


  • Those police officers who are involved in the death of brother peter, would lose their job and become like peter once in their life……this is their biggest CURSE

  • You are not allowed to take another person’s life! Only God!
    What you did is wrong, so called Policemen?!

    Again, to those without jobs, unemployed, about time you go back home and work your land. City is for working class pipol.

  • castrate those lunatics involve in killing, submit their names to Brian Kramer and they will face the consequence of there action.

  • Its about time all unemployed has to return back home and work the land.Its an ongoing issue whereby Policemen/women are taking life of innocent people who are looking for means to make end meets.

  • The police today act as if they are above the law of this nation. It’s very sad to hear this story. We are living in a developing country and we find ways to survive and to put food on the table.

  • Some of us we market to meet the daily needs like peter.
    Who are you government???
    You will be curse(particular) who attempt to kill…

  • I am not supporting the Police act of brutality, but be fair to the existing law, betelnut is banned in Port Moresby so why are we breaking the law. You cannot break law to fix another wrong. We all have rights but there are limitation to those rights, Policemen have rights to enforce the law, the betelnut seller has rights to sell his betelnut. Both have over stepped the mark so there has to be an arbitrator to ensure we arrive at an amicable solution .

  • Poor soul. May he rest in peace..
    There are worse crimes than selling betelnut, no need for such brutal killings. Especially on someone who struggles to put food on the table. He did not steal to deserve death . This shows lack of discipline in our police force. Unethical conduct and complete negligence of public conduct. What a shame to the Force and the Nation as a whole. Such Police personals should be stripped off his job and qualifications so he can understand what it’s like to struggle..
    And yes, please to all the buai vendors, Peter is undeserving of his Fate, but the law was passed. Despite the complications we face in the city, buai is not the only source of income.. just, go back home. Better there than her in the city being chased every now and then by the cops for something not reasonably worthy to die for… go home..

  • Those police man act like an uneducated person. this act is not acceptable. The law should be dealt with them properly. Because they have killed a innocent life with no proper reason. All the comments that we are doing is like singing to someone who doesn’t have hear even the police officer won’t take any actions.

    • Silence….in a country like PNG so riddled with enormous corruption where the rich is gettin richer and poor getting poorer you must understand that Police are human beings and they need to understand and arrest the law breaker and not to kill them. They need to investigate and kill those who steal millions from this country, not a simple hungry poor buai seller who is trying to survive in this so call rich nation and yet very poor due to corruption. The killers of Peter must be behind bars and sent to Bomana ASAP. Hon BK please arrest these cpos turned MURDERS immediately.

  • Policemen and women swore on oath to protect the lives and properties of the people. Why murdering a innocent man for selling beetle nut which is not an offence. What the hell is going on with the PNG Police?

  • These policemen are the worst criminals of our time. This is so bad for our country, also shameful and uncalled for.
    Despite the fact that brother Peter is a buai seller, he does not deserve to die like that. In fact, he should have not been killed.
    I call on the good Governor to review the laws of buai ban since many have lost their lives under that law.

  • to those policemen,you can continue to harass,robb and intimidate those innocent,but “watchout”one day they will outnumber you and retaliate to rampage.

  • Both police and rascals or bandits are becoming a serious problem. you are either killed by rascals or the police. Poor Brother Peter. Help your families and friends to get justice and change this country.

  • How many times will unemployed people in the city rob the city of its rules and regulations. Policemen and women are human being just like you and I are already fed up of buai sellers continued to defy and evad the law! We understand these laws but continue to defy and blame your own laziness in venturing to other means to make ends meet. The relatives do please the consequences of his own doing. As for police hit someone to his death is wrong and your action is already criminal in nature – Murder.

  • Condolences to families and relatives. Poor Peter you died a terrible death. May You rest in peace. PEPETRATORS ARE CURSED. I just hope justice prevails. Hope those white collar criminals running away with peoples millions for medicines and good roads etc were beaten alike. This is totally unfair. Where is justice?

  • Betelnut seller may have breached the law. Policeman too may have breached the law. One wrong has created another wrong. The solution have to strike a balance. We can’t be blaming betelnut seller for his death and just as well we can’t blame policeman for his death. Let’s call on the relevant authority to do justice in this case.

  • About time “VAGRANCY ACT” is implemented. This will prevent such incidents. Wise to stay in the village and do something productive rather than doing illegal vending for survival and lose your life.

  • The reasons influencing Her Majesty’s Royal PNG Constabulary to increasingly display outrages public stunts against its ultimate role as Protector of human lives must be fully understood by Police hierarchy for realistic and holistic intervention programs. Police general aggression towards publics’ unlawful acts that would require mere ‘police advice’ are all seemed to be treated as carrying maximum death penalties! Of concern to the RPNGC should be the increasing numbers of people who are direct dependents of the deceased at police hands across PNG. The potential for this minority group to take law into their own hands is not unreal. RPNGC is harnessing and growing its own enemy at the expense of tax payers. PNG desperately needs smart honest leadership.

  • Good that they are imposing the buai ban but under no circumstances are u allowed to take away a human life. Even the worst thing is, instead of stopping buai markets they are becoming like opportunists again preying on the weak and enjoying their hard earned money. Sue this half-baked policeman and let’s see what the law will have to say about him. He deserves to be spending a life term in jail.

  • That was what the PM Said, It is time for illegal settles, especially those unemployed to go back home. Please Let the Government act quick.
    The Death of Late Peter is to extreme for the Bui Ban but at least the Family should accept that it was his fault

  • Some of these vendors have been born and reared in our capital city, others are recent migrants for certain reasons so thete is no single solution. Two wrongs never make a right, we need a jury here.

  • Rest in peace Bro. Unwanted killing is going even worse in PNG. I couldn’t figure out the actual job of a police man. Are the policemen there to correct people of the country or to insult and offend people of the country?
    They act as if they are some heros and bullies in front of the public.
    Krama Needs to give them the best they need to know and do with the people of the country of PNG.

  • I feel for the victim but after all whose at fault? The current illegal betelnut market is within the vicinity of the rainbow bus top and adjacent to Stop-N-Shop. Most of the passengers and shoppers especially young mothers and girls are regularly harassed by male vendors and drug dealers alike. The pathway along the road is where illegal business is conducted forcing pedestrians onto the main road risking their lives. The Police regularly chase the vendors away but these culprits keep returning and conduct their business as if nothing has happened. Continuous hide and seek with the Police has frustrated them to the extent of using physical force on offenders. Just imaging putting yourself in the shoes of Policeman repeatedly chasing offenders who don’t take heed of warnings. It is so frustrating when offenders don’t respect the law or regulations. What NCDC should do is to put up a hefty fine like K1000 for street vending (betelnut etc) in unauthorised markets or spend 1 year hard labour in prison as a deterrent. I don’t think this killing and vending will stop unless the message goes into the coconuts of these offenders instead of seeping out. The alternative choice the NCDC has is to propose the “VAGRANCY ACT” bill so that “SAMTING BLONG PLES STAP LONG PLES” instead of making their life harder in Port Moresby.

  • Betelnut selling is not new in Port Moresby. Mekeo’s and Kerema people were selling betelnut in Port Moresby years before Independence and very orderly. There were no such problems and cleanliness was maintained. Who are these people living in settlements and for the sake of survival are involved in these betelnut selling which is totally different from years gone. Stupid.

  • This shows a clear massage across all Papua New Guineans that, if you got nothing to do and trying your best to survive in POM. Simply go home, home is where you heart is.

    Over time and time, it has been kind of cat and rat game out there in POM with police and sellers.

    One thing that wonders me a lot is, how did these people hand up in POM, where they deployed for jobs or to see city lights?

  • Policemen are not above law. They should be chasing criminals, robbers and the so called Bigshots who walk away with millions of peoples monies including theirs instead of a buai seller.
    Buai is also found in government offices and even on many of the police personnel, in their houses and everywhere. Why should the policeman go after one person only to kill him?
    It a shame to those involved. They will meet the only 1 person above all, when Mr. Die catches up with them!.

  • As a concerned citizen of my beautiful country PNG. I always ask this question to myself and also to others that ” does the police officers have code of conducts that applies when executing their official duties”. It has become a normal practice within the RPNGC especially when apprehending/arresting suspects, almost all police officers use violence and harsh approach to suspects, bystanders or the general public as a whole when on duty. That is why we are not afraid of the rascals now but the police. You wear that uniform to serve a purpose, don’t think you own Papua New Guinea under the discretion of that uniform. Our life is so unique that you cannot take it away that easily. Whatever goes around, comes around.

  • Police brutality…again? enough is enough and I don’t care what the police hierarchy are saying but the Commissioner and his band of senior officers should be held accountable. There is a serious break down of command and control in the constabulary. Any conduct of a police man or woman reflects the high command. If the investigation finds those policeman of an offence I strongly believe that the first defendant in a court of law should be the Police Commissioner followed by the NCD commanders and station commanders. That should get them to fix up the stench and rot in their organisation.

  • It saddens me to hear that a very young man has died in such a dreadful matter. It about time more serious and tougher actions are taken by relevant authorities to address the Police Brutality in the country. Worst of all, it happened on occasion of our country independence anniversary when we are suppose to be united, celebrating and looking out for each other. Due to such police brutality, the general public have lost trust and confidence in the police force. Public perception about police has change every-time they appear in public. The Public seemed to be intimated and scared with police presence instead having the sense of being safe and mind you, its will take time to restore the confidence that was once there in the later 70s and 80s. One solution is for the Government to disarm the police force unless insinuations that warrant firearms like in State of Emergency or act of War. Another solution is upgrade the police training manual at Bomana to include ” Roles of Engagement”. When to discharge and when not to discharge a firearm. You policemen and women deal with humans, not robots and animals so why use firearms against your fellow human beings. If the Government and the Police hierarchy continued to give a blind eye on police brutality, one day a major civil unrest between the public and police will happen and that would not be healthy for us and in the eyes of the international community. What is happening here. Can the Government intervene and address the issue in the name of humanity and their rights. God Bless PNG.

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