Killers of buai seller to make way for probe
By REBECCA KUKU
POLICEMEN allegedly involved in the killing of a buai (betel nut) seller in Port Moresby’s Rainbow on Monday will be suspended to facilitate investigations.
National Capital District (NCD) and Central Asst Comm Anthony Wagambie Jr, pictured, told The National yesterday that “we have started taking statements from witnesses and identifying the policemen who allegedly assaulted the betel nut seller”.
“In such serious cases (and allegations), the policemen will be suspended after their identities have been determined,” he said.
“Suspensions are to ensure that the policemen do not interfere with witnesses or investigations.”
On Monday, Papua New Guinea’s Independence anniversary day, policemen arrived at the market in Rainbow to round up betel nut sellers.
One of the buai sellers, Peter Pamben, 33, from Enga ran and was chased by policemen to the gates of Port Moresby National High School.
Pamben climbed and tried to jump over the spiked fence.
Witnesses told The National that Pamben got caught in spikes and screamed for help but the policemen pulled him down from the fence, ripping open his abdomen.
They also saw the policemen continuously kicking Pamben who was screaming for help until he passed out.
The following day, the market area in Rainbow turned into a “ghost town” with people fearing unrest.
The Stop & Shop supermarket was closed the whole day.
Pamben’s family members, relatives and friends also gathered outside the Boroko police station to protest wanting to meet NCD Metropolitan Supt Perou N’dranou to have the policemen involved arrested immediately. However, N’dranou declined to meet them and sent station commander James Wafihambu to tell the protesters to follow procedures by lodging police reports.
On Wednesday, Wagambie visited the protestors at Rainbow and assured them that the incident would be thoroughly investigated immediately.
That pacified the angry Rainbow community and protesters, and normalcy was restored with the reopening of businesses and the Stop & Shop supermarket.