The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
THE East New Britain provincial administration is determined to continue searching for information on the six public servants who went missing last January.
Acting provincial administrator Wilson Matava said no one had come up with any information on what happened to them.
The six were returning to Kokopo from Palmalmal after an official tour of Pomio district on Jan 13 when they went missing. A search was conducted until March. Police are now investigating their disappearance.
“The search was very intense – we used aerial, sea and land search operation even using the Australian Defence and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre based in Honolulu,” Matava said.
He said, although the search could only be conducted within 14 days, it took them a lot longer because of the need to adequately respond to the public, especially family members.
“But more so due to the fact that the search could not establish what exactly happened, unlike other boat accidents.”
He said because the Coroners Act dealt with the bodies of persons found, a coroner’s inquest was not immediately legally possible because there was no body found.
“The administration has since referred the matter to police to carry out a full investigation which is now being undertaken under a term of reference.”
He urged the public to come forward with any information that can assist the investigation.
“Information will be treated with confidence. Those with information can contact Snr Detective Sgt Inglis on 982 8165 or the Kokopo police station,” he said.