Kimbe drug haul

Main Stories, National

THE operation of a major security company in West New Britain province is now under serious police scrutiny after one of its vehicles was involved in transporting a large amount of drugs (dried cannabis) from the Kimbe wharf to a hideout that was later raided by police on Christmas Eve.
The drugs were confiscated by police and eight suspects were arrested.
Provincial police commander Chief Insp Richard Mulou said among the suspects now in police custody included a Unitech student presently on National Court bail for his involvement in the botched Bialla Bank South Pacific robbery in November last year during which he was shot in the legs in a confrontation with police.
Chief Insp Mulou said the confiscated drugs weighed about 30kg and had an estimated street value of more than K100,000.
But this was more than a drug haul.
Police believed a major bank robbery was in the making by the gang, which had been under police surveillance after receiving a complaint from the bank management concerned.
“A week ago, the suspect (named) and his accomplices had been observed frequenting the bank premises during business hours and making discreet enquires about the bank staff and management,” Chief Insp Mulou said.
“The management became suspicious and relayed the information to my office and I alerted my officers and the police task force team who immediately commenced surveillance on the gang.”
Chief Insp Mulou said police intelligence strongly suggested that the gang was planning to use their inside connection with the security company to also stage a bank robbery.”
“In the meantime, capitalising on their inside connection with the security company and the company’s unlimited access to the Kimbe ports, they had been using one of the company’s vehicle to convey drugs and I believe other prohibited items. 
“My men are continuing investigations into the whole saga and other contraband items that we know have been smuggled into the province.”
Information available to police suggest the gang has connections to Lae and Port Moresby.
Police believed the drug was bound for Lae, and could be linked to a major drug ring involving Australians that is now being investigated by the Australian federal police. 
The operations manager of the security company was summoned to Chief Insp Mulou’s office yesterday and was put on notice.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who is also the chairman of the PNG Security Industries Council, was also briefed of the matter.
“This is the second time something like this has come to the attention of the law and is of grave concern to police,” Chief Insp Mulou said.