Police probing arson incidents

John Sagom

MT HAGEN police are investigating the burning down of two properties last week which are believed to be election-related.
Western Highlands police commander superintendent John Sagom could not be reached for comments but deputy assistant commissioner of Police (ACP) Highlands eastern end commander Joseph Tondop confirmed receiving the reports and said investigations were continuing.
A police officer who did not want to be named said that the reports had been received from the complainants.
He said the two incidents had taken place at separate locations last week.
“The first incident took place on Wednesday while the other was on Sunday morning,” he said.
“One property was burned down at Dobel just outside Mt Hagen.”
Police said the victim at Dobel had lost K6,000 in store goods last Wednesday .
On Thursday night, unknown individuals collaborated and burned down his houses with properties valued at K31,000.
“We have no clue who did this or why they would do this,” he said.
“But we believe that it could be election-related as everything took place in the night when everyone was fast asleep.”
He added that the election security personnel were alerted of the incident and they went to the scene and helped the store owner’s family and others.
“The affected families including another man and his family who were tenants in one of the buildings left that same night,” he said.
In the other suspected arson incident, the officer said that a property belonging to a doctor at New Town was burnt down on Sunday morning.
He said his vehicle was also destroyed and left on the road.
The officer said the reason for the burning of the properties was yet to be determined and the police were investigating the incident and were expected to make arrests as more information would be uncovered.

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