The National – Wednesday, February 2, 2011
ACTING Police Commissioner Tony Wagambie has cracked the whip and announced a zero tolerance for errant policemen following the arrest of three mobile squad policemen for alleged sexual offences in Porgera, Enga.
The three policemen, from the Bulolo-based Mobile Squad 15, were arrested last Friday in Porgera for alleged sexual offences committed in June 2010 while on duty during Operation Ipili.
The three had been named as Const Reuben Raymond, 38, from Pityluh village in Manus; First Const Kandie Usil, 40, from Naromaki village in Morobe’s Huon Gulf and First Const Wesley Takale, 34, from Vanadavai in East New Britain.
All three were married with children and had served the constabulary between 14 and 20 years.
Wagambie said these arrests must serve as a warning to all members of the Royal PNG Constabulary that they have to be professional and law abiding.
He further warned that he would come down hard on any member who breaks the laws of the country.
“I expect every member of the constabulary to uphold the laws at all times.
“Policemen and women have sworn an oath to protect and serve our people.
“I will not tolerate any member of the constabulary who thinks he or she can abuse the law or citizens of PNG,” Wagambie said.
He said the arrest was the result of a special police investigations taskforce that was working in Porgera.
So far, more than six people, including the three policemen, had been arrested and charged with various sexual offences including violence against women following three months of intensive investigations which was strongly supported by the Porgera Joint Venture, Barrick Gold and local community leaders.
Wagambie commended Barrick Gold for being a responsible corporate citizen of PNG.
He said it was traditional for many groups, be it tribal or corporate entities, to turn a blind eye to, cover up or hide such matters but Barrick Gold acted responsibly not only by blowing the whistle but assisting police to bring the alleged offenders to face trial.
“I call upon other corporate entities to be responsible and take ownership of our law and order situation. As the saying goes, evil triumphs when good men and organisations do nothing, so let us all work together and fight crime,” Wagambie said.
The three MS 15 members had been released on K1,000 bail each and would stand trail on Feb 21, charged with two counts each of sexual penetration and sexual touching.