PM: No one above the law

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PRIME Minister James Marape says no one, including his family members, is above the law, after three men including his son were detained following the discovery of K1.3 million cash on one of the other two.
The man, a company director, was also carrying a gun which police later found out he had a licence for.
The three were released from the Tari Police Station on Sunday night. No charges were laid against any of them. Police are still investigating the matter.
Marape, who was at Papiali in Tari to cast his vote for his Tari-Pori seat in Hela yesterday, said the police were only doing their jobs.
“Even my family members are not above the law,” he said.
Marape said his son had nothing to do with the cash and gun.
“If police believe they had committed a crime, it is police business to carry out their duties.
“Let the police carry out their investigation and see if a crime has been committed.”
He said he had no link to or any interest in the money.
“The money does not belong to me. What would I need it for?” he said.
Marape explained that he had sent his son on Saturday to take some journalists for a sight-seeing tour of Komo and the LNG site when he met the company director carrying the cash.
“He was there with the media personnel when he met the company director and was brought in with him by the police,” he said.
“When my son was detained, I didn’t use my position to (have him released) because no one is above the law, including my family.”
Marape said his son just happened to be in the vicinity and was not there to pick up the money.
“There was nothing illegal in as far as my son was concerned,” he said.
“The police thought that it was suspicious and it’s a matter that is handled by police as we speak.”
Provincial police commander Inspector Robin Bore could not be reached for comment but police sources said the cash and gun were brought in by Ipuan Construction Ltd director Seti Palipe.
The gun was registered.
Palipe said the money was for his company. “I travel often via the Komo terminal. I know there will be checks,” he said.
“The money belongs to my company (which I) brought for company business.
“Because I was carrying money, I brought my gun as well, which is licenced.
“I had arranged for a policeman to escort me into town.”