Police station break-in, 9 let go

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THE Namatanai Police Station in New Ireland was broken into by several unknown men who forced the front window of the station, entered and let out nine men in the early hours of Sunday, police say.
Two men who were given a chance for freedom, refused and raised the alarm that nine men had escaped from the station.
The escape occurred while the station was unguarded.
The National understands that four of the nine men are armed and dangerous and moving in a group.
Word was sent to East New Britain to be on the lookout for the four suspects. New Ireland’s police commander Chief Insp Felix Nebanat said the report of the breakout had reached his office.
Police are trying to establish how the men broke out of the station cell, he said.
Police sources said it was the second time the police station has been broken into with several suspects let out of the cell last year.
The station is said to close its doors at 4pm every afternoon and re-open at 8am.
The four men were part of a gang of eight who, on June 30, came across from Kokopo and held up a logging camp.
In the armed robbery, a police-issued Armsco pistol was used with two expatriates stabbed by the gang.
The gang then walked away with K10,000 in cash, stolen laptop, tablets and phones worth about K20,000.
A distress call was made at the logging camp and police arrived, they followed the trail of the eight criminals and arrived at the next logging camp which was to be robbed when police surprised the gang.
On July 1, the gang shot at a police team from Kokopo and Namatanai and a shootout occurred.
Two of the gang members from Bitapabeke village, Kokopo, were killed.
Three members of the gang were detained, two were hospitalised and one, the gang leader, remains at large.
Police recovered the police-issued pistol, a revolver, five homemade guns, a kitchen knife, 11 9mm live rounds, seven 12-gauge cartridges and three 5.6mm live ammo, plus the stolen items of laptop, tablets, phones and money amounting to K20,000.
From the gang of eight, five were sent to the Kavieng Correctional Services prison.
While in custody, one of the five escaped (which is subject to investigation), the remaining four were detained at the prison and moved to Namatanai.
The National understands that for three weeks, they were at the Namatanai Police Station awaiting their transfer back to Kavieng prison when the cell was broken into.
Of the nine who escaped, one was re-captured on Sunday at the back of the Namatanai Hospital and eight remain at large.