81 students charged with cult worshipping, alcohol, drug use
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
A GROUP of 81 students is expected in court today charged with cult worshipping, homebrew and drug consumption and drinking in a public place.
East New Britain police commander Chief Inspector Joseph Tabli said two girls reported the matter to the Kokopo police station on Saturday after they were robbed of their bags and phones while delivering food to their boyfriends in the group.
Police found the 81 students at the Mamapua beach between Butuwin and the Kokopo Secondary School in Kokopo.
He said when police arrived, the students aged between 16 and 21 were allegedly in the middle of “worshiping” a young man.
The 81 were taken to the Kokopo police station where they were detained overnight before being interrogated.
“The reason we kept them overnight was because they were drunk and unable to talk properly,’’ Tabali said.
“On Sunday we began talking to them and called all their parents who expressed their disappointment over the activities of their sons.”
He said 74 had been charged with loitering and released on a K100 police bail.
One is charged with being in possession of marijuana and detained.
Six have been charged with being in possession of homebrew and granted a K400 police bail each.
The 81 students are expected to appear in the Kokopo court today.
The students are from the Malabunga Secondary School, Warangoi High School, Boisen Secondary School and Sunrise Code School in Rabaul.
Police will write to the schools explaining why the students have been arrested.
“While we will charge them according to the law, the schools will deal with them according to their own rules and regulations,” Tabali said.
He urged parents to know the whereabouts of their children at all times.
“If your child comes home late, question him or her where they have been.
“Know where your child is. You do not want police calling you to come down to the station or even worse the morgue to identify your child.
“Talk to your children every day. Remind them the laws are there to protect everyone in the community and breaking the law will see them facing police.”