The National –Friday, January 7, 2011
By EVAH KUAMIN
EAST New Britain’s top cop Supt Sylvester Kalaut has qualified statements he made in The National on Monday concerning local women in Rabaul boarding fishing vessels.
Kalaut said he came out in the media as the legitimate law and order authority in the province.
His rationale in raising the concerns were done for the public’s safety reasons as well as a means of being proactive in reducing crimes, which he added had been of paramount concern to him as the senior police officer in the province.
Kalaut said from police reports that had been gathered in the province there had been cases that were found to be related to pornographic materials being exchanged for items by locals.
Kalaut confirmed there were also cases where women had been removed from the vessels, piracy in which locals who went into fishing vessels exchanged items with the crew and made away with K5,000 cash, stolen from the crew of one of the vessels.
This incident he said occurred last month.
“Police cannot just sit back and watch as we have had a high number of guns that have entered the country through illegal means,” Kalaut said.
He said recently they confiscated an automatic shot gun capable of firing 12 shot gun rounds.
Kalaut explained that he had also raised the concern because of the likely law and order issues that could arise when the locals were conducting such illegal trading with the crews of the vessels.
He said though he understood the fact that what they had been doing was to help sustain themselves but the other side should not be ignored.
What needed to be understood was the safety of the public trading with the crews of the fishing vessels could not be guaranteed safe, he said.
Kalaut questioned that people’s safety, especially the locals were at risk because accidents could occur and sometimes cases could be fatal.
On Wednesday he had gone to Simpson Harbour and saw the locals conducting their usual trade with the locals.
He asked who had authorised them to board the fishing vessels and whether it was the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) or Customs officers.
Kalaut said the locals must respect the law of the country.
He said if they needed to trade with the crews of the vessels, then it ought to be through the agents of the fishing vessels and not through direct means.