Cops accused of ‘looting’

National, Normal


POLICE in Kundiawa have been accused of “facilitating looting of cargoes” when trucks break down alomg the Highlands Highway.
A Southern Highlands business couple revealed this to The National last Thursday, after losing more than K190,000 worth of store goods to thieves when their truck went off the road at Prenoka Primary School in Kundiawa on the night of Oct 24.
The couple, who requested anonymity, said their Isuzu 18-tone truck loaded with hardware and store goods bound for Tari in the Southern Highlands province, was returning from Lae when it developed gear failure near Kundiawa town.
They said the truck went off the road at about 8pm and they reported the matter to Kundiawa police station, situated about 900m away from the accident site.
The couple said what infuriated them was that police stood by and watched as the local Prenoka and Kundiawa people looted the cargo.
Most of the cargo were heavy hardware items and machinery, like a 15KVA generator, three 5KVA generators, three 2.5KVA generators, three lawn mowers, three solar systems and materials like iron roofing, cement bags, plywood, v-crimps and others.
The next day, they had to fork out another K600 to pay the policemen for “looking after the empty truck with virtually all cargoes gone”.
Simbu provincial police commander Supt Joseph Tondop is said to be aware of the incident but was not available for comments when contacted last Thursday.
However, a policeman at Kundiawa police station said the looted materials were put on sale in public places in Kundiawa town.