THE Madang provincial government is holding an urgent provincial executive council (PEC) meeting this morning to discuss a serious breakdown in law and order in the town and in the province in recent weeks.
The urgent meeting follows the rape and bashing of an elderly expatriate woman by youths armed with guns in the early hours of yesterday, and a spate of killings, grievous bodily harm and criminal attacks on innocent people and property involving guns over the last few days.
Provincial police commander, Chief Insp Tony Wagambie Jr, told reporters yesterday that he had been invited to address the PEC and update the government leaders on the crime situation in the province.
It is understood that Governor Sir Arnold Amet, provincial administrator Joseph Dorpar and other government and community leaders had a crisis meeting yesterday and called for the urgent PEC meeting.
The National understands that high on the Madang police wish-list for some time are increased manpower, vehicles, housing and other logistics amid rising crime as a result of the resources boom and an influx of people and growth in the population of unemployed youths aged between 15 and 25.
Chief Insp Wagambie Jr said his officers had arrested six suspects yesterday from a house at the notorious PHD Compound, behind the Modilon General Hospital, in connection with the rape and beating up of the expatriate woman.
He said the six youths had been locked up at the Jomba police station cells, awaiting further investigations and charges to be laid by the police investigators.
Chief Insp Wagambie said the arrests came after police officers swiftly rounded up 20 youths who were drinking at the compound, which then led to the identification of a government house where the six suspects were hiding with a home-made pistol.
Chief Insp Wagambie said the expatriate woman, who has lived in Madang for a long time and was alone on Tuesday night, was beaten up and raped after several men entered her house by climbing over the fence.
They apparently wanted to rob her two cars and other belongings.
The robbery and further assaults on the woman were prevented when police arrived at the scene, but the criminals had fled.
The traumatised woman, whose husband is away, is being cared for by doctors and her many friends and is recovering from the injuries to her face, lower lip, back and right arm.
Meanwhile, Chief Insp Wagambie said that a
security guard at the Ramu nickel project’s refinery site at Basamuk was killed following a fracas involving settlers beside the company compound on Monday.
The PPC said the guard, from near Madang town, died after being hit with a large rock on the back of his head.
Chief Insp Wagambie said the guard was attacked after an argument broke out when several guards stopped the settlers from picking up sheets of roofing iron from the company’s yard.
He said that his officers had travelled to the site and arrested and charged a father and his son and another man with wilful murder.
Chief Insp Wagambie said bail had been refused and the three men would be sent to Beon jail to await mention in court.
He said police had since dismantled the settlement beside the Ramu nickel refinery and the settlers were told to leave for their villagers in the inland of Rai Coast.