Pirates rob passengers

The National, Wednesday July 20th, 2016

SEA pirates robbed passengers in Alotau, Milne Bay, provincial police commander Chief Supt Joseph Morehari said yesterday.
He said the incident occurred on Monday.
“Passengers travelling in a dinghy were held up off the coast of Sirisiri village by pirates while travelling to Awayama from Rabaraba station,” Morehari said.
“The victims were enroute to Alotau town to conduct business when they were held up. From Awayama, the villagers catch a PMV to town.”
He said piracy was frequent in the maritime province and police were cash-strapped to fix up the mv Wagambie.
“My plea for K400,000 to Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon, Alotau MP Charles Able and Esa’ala MP Steven Davis have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.
“I need to fix up the boat to police the sea to prevent sea piracy and illegal fishing in the province.
“But their response was that they had submitted my request to the National Gaming Control Board to provide funds for me to buy a 320horsepower engine from Loberger Engineering in Lae.
“But it is almost two years now and the boat is still grounded. ”
Morehari said because they had no boat, police could not conduct an investigation into a robbery on Misima Island last month.
Meanwhilen, he said it was business as usual in Alotau despite the heavy presence of Government MPs, including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
“They are here since Sunday. Police officers from the diplomacy unit in the Special Service Division are providing security for them,” he said.
“I also deployed my task force unit to be part of the security contingent to ensure that there is no security threat in the Alotau town during this week when we have the government camp here.”