The National, Tuesday November 5th, 2013
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
SUSPENDED Hela provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia says he has done nothing wrong.
His suspension followed a stand-off between police officers and soldiers after the arrest of three police officers under his command who were caught by soldiers smuggling alcohol into the province.
He was suspended by Highlands divisional police commander Teddy Tei for not taking any disciplinary action against the three officers.
Onopia said yesterday the three policemen were caught by soldiers transporting and escorting alcohol into the province at the roadblock at Margarima.
He said the case was handled by the Southern Highlands police.
He said one of the officers was arrested by soldiers at around 9.50pm on Oct 8.
He said the officer was arrested by the Poroma police station commander in Southern Highlands.
Onopia said two other policemen, who allegedly smuggled alcohol into Hela, were caught by soldiers and dealt with by police officers in Mendi.
“All these cases are handled by Mendi police. We have no case registered at the Tari police station,” he said.
He said the three policemen, although were under his command in Tari, had been arrested in another province and dealt with by police there.
Onopia said Tei must blame police in Southern Highlands for their inaction because they were dealing with the case.
He said he could not blindly take disciplinary action against the men because the alcohol, firearm and vehicle allegedly smuggled were taken to the Mendi police station.
He said he had been wrongly blamed.