The National, Friday, May 20, 2011
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
WILLIAM Nanua Kapris will spend 30 years in jail for masterminding the K2.4 million Bank South Pacific Madang branch robbery, the biggest heist in the country.
Sentencing him yesterday, Justice David Cannings was moved to ask the question everyone wanted the answer to – “where has the money gone?”
In his 64-page judgment, Cannings said of the K2.4 million stolen, K1.2 million was taken from Lae to Port Moresby and kept at Tamara Player Tomscoll’s house and police only recovered about K430,000.
But, despite the mystery surrounding the missing money, Kapris and his gang were sentenced to a total of 161 years in jail for the multiple charges they faced.
The court took into account that the conspiracy involved a large number of people, the subject of the conspiracy was the commission of a very serious crime, the offender was the central figure in the conspiracy and that each hostage would have suffered some trauma. Described as a “habitual criminal”, Kapris was charged with one count of armed robbery, one count conspiracy, 13 counts kidnapping and 14 counts of unlawful deprivation of liberty.
Kapris was denied suspended sentences or time deducted for the period spent in custody.
Kapris will be sent to Bomana (and not Lakiemata, in West New Britain, as he had requested) to await the Kerema BSP trial.
However, the judge told Kapris that he was free to pursue the switch if he wanted to.
His 11 other co-conspirators were given sentences of between eight and 15 years with the court using its discretion to deduct time spent in custody and partial suspensions of between three and four years.
They were sentenced as follows:
*Jacob Okimbari Peningi, known as Kapris’ second-in-command, was given 11 years to be served at Beon in Madang;
*Kito Aso, nine years and three months, to be transferred to Lakiemata;
*Peter Alan Popo, six years and six weeks;
*Johnny Gumaira was given six years and three months;
*Ruben Micah, five years and seven weeks;
*Colin Masilo, five years and 10 months;
*Bobby Selan, four years, four months and two weeks;
*Damien Inanei, three years, one month and two weeks;
*Joyce Maima, three years and four months;
*Elizabeth Kivare, who will return to Bomana to answer to the BSP Kerema charge, one year and nine weeks; and
*Boat skipper Elvis Bala Aka, 14 months.
Kito and Bala will be transferred to Lakiemata while Gumaira, Kapris and Kivare back to Bomana.
The cost of their transfer will be met by the Correctional Services.
The case brings to an end 18 months of intensive investigations by police and one of the most expensive criminal cases ever to go before the courts.
Figures released last week by state departments on funds expended on the case showed:
*Public prosecutors spending K299,882.60;
*Correctional Services K2,757,950; and
*Public solicitors K246,100.