PMV owner: Stop unnecessary police roadblocks

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 31st January 2012

POLICE in Madang have been accused of setting up unnecessary roadblocks and demanding payments from public service vehicle operators.
Former police officer Robert Karl, who now operates a PMV bus, wants Madang provincial police commander Anthony  Wagambie Jnr to investigate the matter.
Karl, from the Dinga tribe in Sinasina-Yongomugl district, Chimbu, said he was charged for “overloading” his 15-seater bus with betel nut.
His PMV bus frequently travels from Kundiawa to Bogia district in Madang transporting betelnuts to customers in Chimbu.
He was returning from Bogia  last Saturday when he was stopped at a roadblock in the middle of the North Cost road. He was told to pay K100 for “overloading”.
A former police traffic officer, Karl said he understood what the rules were and carried excess goods on his vehicles.
“I am not a bush kanaka or stupid person.
“Why did they treat me like this?
“Because the policemen were armed and were in full uniform, I paid K60,’’ he said.
Karl said after paying the cash, he asked for a receipt but was not given one, nor a traffic notice.
He reported the matter at the Madang police station but no further action had been taken.
Karl said the same incident happened last year when traffic officers blocked that particular road and demanded money from highlands PMV buses.
“From my own observations, the money that they collected was not deposited in the traffic account but  used for alcohol consumption,” he said.
He said police officers must uphold and maintain the good image and reputation of the police force.
“I am now appealing to the provincial commander Anthony Wagambie Jr  to check on these policemen and deal with them accordingly,” Karl said.
“They are making unnecessary demands and such behaviour must be stopped.”