By JULIA DAIA BORE
THE four robbers caught in the foiled armed robbery of down-town Port Moresby’s Rickshaw Restaurant on Sunday evening have been identified as cop-killers.
“They are hardcore criminals who have been on the police wanted list for a while,” NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Fred Yakasa said.
“One or two of the suspects were involved in recent shootouts with police and a policeman was shot dead in the clashes,” he said.
He warned city residents and business operators to be extra cautious when opening and closing their businesses.
“These are the peak periods for robbers to strike,” he said, urging business houses to take security precautions.
In a press conference yesterday, Supt Yakasa said two suspects were from Eastern Highlands province, one from Kikori in Gulf province and another of mixed East Sepik and Abau parentage
“Another two were Eastern Highlanders from Yegusa and Yesubi villages in Okapa,” he added.
Supt Yakasa said: “The four suspects started shooting their way out of the restaurant when they found the policemen outside.
“Police shot dead two of them and another was wounded.
“A fourth suspect tried to get into a taxi but police nabbed him.”
The wounded suspect is warded in the Port Moresby General Hospital.
Supt Yakasa said two Port Moresby station policemen, who were the first at the robbery scene, were also wounded in the shootout.
They are both recovering in hospital.
He said the first policeman at the scene walked into the restaurant to enquire and was shot and wounded in his abdomen.
Despite that, the policeman recouped and fought his way out.
Supt Yakasa commended the policeman’s and the others who arrived at the scene to give him support.
He said the second policeman had a bullet lodged in his left eye. Both officers are in hospital and “in a stable condition”.
Supt Yakasa also commended all his men for their prompt response to get to the scene.
“What happened yesterday was a job well done.”
“Use yesterday’s (Sunday’s) example to show how police will deal with criminals to ensure security is provided to law-abiding citizens,” he said.