Kasieng demands surrender of rogue task force members

National, Normal

The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011

 WEST Sepik provincial police commander Sakawar Kasieng is demanding the surrender of four police officers from the Sunset Merona operations team before they will cooperate with the joint task force contingent now in Vanimo.

The demand followed the lifting of a barricade at the entrance of the Vanimo police station yesterday.

Vanimo police had sealed off the police station since Monday after one of their officers was allegedly beaten up by four members of the visiting joint forces’ team.

The situation almost triggered a confrontation, with local police threatening not to share local intelligence information.

Sunset Merona operations commander Jerry Frank and Kasieng met yesterday morning and resolved that the barricade would be removed on condition that the four suspects were handed over to Vanimo police.

“There is no stand-off. 

“Everything has been ironed out,” Frank said. 

“Local police will assist us in the operations like identifying criminal elements and prison escapees and our personnel will help them speed up some of their cases.”

However, Kasieng said while the barricade had been removed, he had demanded that the four task force members suspected of beating up his policeman must first be handed over to be arrested and charged before local police would fully cooperate.

“I have asked for them to be brought in tomorrow morning (today).

“If not, Vanimo police station will remain closed,” Kasieng said.