The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013
A NOTORIOUS criminal in West New Britain has surrendered to police after communities refused to harbour him anymore.
Sotna Sam Bongi of Derin ward in the Kabwum district, Morobe, was out at large for some months until Sunday.
He was convicted this year for his involvement in a pack rape in 2003 in Kimbe and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Provincial police commander Samson Siguyaru said in Kimbe yesterday that Bongi, while being in custody in 2003, escaped twice.
He said police shot him once while he was attempting to escape in 2003, leaving him partly disabled.
Siguyaru said that had not stopped him from continuing to escape.
He said last year Bongi was alleged to have involved in the murder of a pastor from the Assemblies of God Church.
After escaping in 2003, he was re-arrested in 2010.
The court sentenced him to five years in prison, while his pack rape case was still pending in court until recently this year when he was convicted and sentenced.
Siguyaru said Bongi escaped again this year and was out at large until on Sunday when he surrendered to police after members of the communities he was hiding in refused to harbour him anymore.
“His surrender is significant to the communities in Kimbe town and to the province as a whole,” Siguyaru said.
He said there were now groups in the province being formed to combat crime.
One of these groups; Gila Crime Fighters from the Gigo Laloki area in WNB was now working closely with police to fight crime.
Siguyaru said this was a way forward for the province as people were now taking ownership of law and order in WNB and working closely with police and other stakeholders.
He said in the last six months, crime rates in WNB have significantly dropped by 65 percent.
He said this was a result of people taking ownership of law and order issues and helping in addressing them in the correct way.