Cargo to LNG site halted


POLICE say 10 trucks carrying supplies to the PNG LNG project are being held up along the Highlands Highways at Poromo, Southern Highlands, as two groups argue over a compensation claim.
Poroma is between Nipa and Mendi.
Hela police commander Michael Welly told The National that the 10 prime mover trucks owned by Trans Wonderland Limited were carrying cargo to the PNG LNG project.
The dispute is between the relatives of the late Nason Philip from Poroma who was killed in a road accident late last year, and the relatives of the driver who is from Angore in Hela.
The 10 trucks are being held up by the Poroma people who are demanding that the Angore people pay them K3 million.
But Angore leader Malex Au said the K3 million was outrageous.
Au said they had accepted the responsibility of Philip’s death and offered K100,000, 85 pigs, 21 goats and two cassowaries as bel kol.
“His elder brother, Isaac Philip, the officer in charge of Mobile Squad 8 is aware of this and needs to provide leadership,” he said.
“I promised to compensate them reasonably but they refused to accept our offer.”
Welly will accompany Southern Highlands police commander Joseph Tondop to meet the disputing parties at Margarima next Wednesday.
Trucking company managing director Larry Andagali said the company had nothing to do with the road accident and the compensation dispute.
He said holding up the trucks was illegal and should not be tolerated.
“It is unbelievable that police and defence (officers) are negotiating with criminals to release the trucks,” he said.