Enga police to help ‘clean up’ Tari

National

By MALUM NALU in Tari
Hela police will be beefed up with the arrival of Mobile Squad 11 from Laiagam in Enga today, according to acting provincial police commander Martin Lakari.
This follows the controversial loss of MS9 which was sent to Wabag last year for election operations and not sent back to Hela but to the PNG LNG Project.
The loss of MS9 and the subsequent loss of other officers have seen Hela police numbers dwindle to a skeleton crew of only 20 officers.
Crime has since spiralled out of control, including at this time of earthquake relief work as examplified by last Friday’s assasination-type shooting of respected councillor Hebe Yaparia in the Tari Market.
“Tari town is in chaos in terms of law-and-order,” Lakari told The National in Tari yesterday.
“People from all over Hela come into Tari to hunt down enemies.
“Tari town is becoming a battlefield where enemies are easily hunted down.
“I have intervened and come up with an ops order to engage all my local policemen and women to clamp down on illegal high-low (gambling) machines, other illegal games, darts games, selling of betel nuts and cigarettes on the streets.
“We have put Tari town into perspective since yesterday (Monday).”
Lakari said he had engaged MS11 of Laiagam, one of the toughest police units in the Highlands, to assist him and the Hela government and administration to quell ongoing law-and-order problems.
“They (MS11) are on their way,” he said.
“As soon as they are in Tari, I will use them as a reinforcement and do a clean sweep of Tari town, which should spread the message right throughout Hela.”
Hela administrator William Bando commended relatives of Yaparia for not taking the law into their own hands on Monday.
“I can understand their grievances as the late councillor was someone who was always pushing for peace and harmony in our small town.”

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