More funds needed for Purari deaths probe

National, Normal


GULF provincial police commander Reuben Giusu is in Port Moresby to secure funds for Kerema police to
investigate further the Purari River deaths reported more than a week ago.
Insp Giusu said yesterday that he was meeting with deputy police commissioner for operations to present a preliminary report of the Gulf provincial trip to the Purari River villages of Akoma and Akinu last week.
He is also expected to meet with Internal Security Minister Sani Rambi and Kikori MP Mark Maipakai to seek further assistance.
Insp Giusu said InteroOil was also carrying out its investigation into the dead bodies believed to be of villagers at the well head area of Elk 1 and 2 and Antelope.
The 12 bodies were reportedly sighted by villagers down the Purari River two weeks ago and while people along the river managed to bury some of the bodies, others that had partly decomposed were left to drift into the ocean.
It was also reported that there was a tribal fight over landownership among Pawaia and Poria well head villagers in Wabo.
Last Wednesday, Insp Giusu led a team from Gulf province up the Purari and only went as far as Akoma and Akinu villages which are close to the mouth of the river from the sea.
He said there was an urgent need for an assessment team to travel all the way to Wabo to talk to the people there.