Businessman cries foul as vehicle taken away despite court order


POLICE in Pangia, Southern Highlands, allegedly breached a District Court order to remove a vehicle from its owner last month, according to the vehicle owner based in Goroka.
“Despite a District Court order still being in force, a Pangia-based policeman forcefully removed the keys of my Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle registration number EAH 400 from me with the support of local businessman and his supporters on Tuesday, October 31, at Pangia station,” Kaiyo Kana said.
Kana said his vehicle was hired by the Department of Finance on July 30, 2016, for use in Southern Highlands. While the vehicle was being used in Southern Highlands, a businessman from Pangia forcefully took possession of it with the assistance of Ialibu-Pangia police officers.
He said the businessman kept the vehicle for almost a year when he (Kana) obtained a court order in April this year and retrieved it.
“I took out the District Court order at the Goroka District Court and got my vehicle back.  The order remains in force to date, their actions to remove the vehicle from me for the second time amounts to breach of an active court order.
“I informed (the police officers) of consequences of their actions during a scuffle in Pangia on Oct 31 but they would not listen and removed the vehicle from me and my wife who was traveling with me at the time,” he said.
Kana said he hired another vehicle to travel back to Goroka but was stopped at Lama Sawmill by armed policemen who brought him to Ialibu police station and arrested and charged him.
“After the arresting officer learnt of the existing court order he dropped the charges and released me but my vehicle was held back and is now being used,” Kana said.
“My wife and I returned to Goroka using another hired vehicle.”
Kana said his vehicle was on commercial hire when it was impounded by the police and later on Oct 31, it was again taken by the same police officers.
He said he has suffered financial losses and damages amounting to about K300, 000 ,including legal costs. He wants the police hierarchy to intervene and settle the matter amicably.
Southern Highlands police commander Chief Supt Joseph Tondop, who has just moved into the job, said he would look into the matter and take appropriate action.