The National, Wednesday 23rd November 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
SERIOUS crime in Western Highlands is declining following the arrest of what police claimed are gang leaders.
Police have arrested three so far this year.
Provincial police commander Kaiglo Ambane described their arrest as a major breakthrough.
The latest arrest was made last weekend when Chris Ru Koim of Ati village, near Kagamuga airport was picked up.
Koim was arrested last November for armed robbery at the Monpi Coffee factory with other gang members but escaped from custody in Mt Hagen.
While on the run Koim is alleged to have committed other serious crimes such as robbery.
Acting on a tip-off, police went to Ati, arrested Koim and charged him with escaping from lawful custody.
He said police would later lay other charges against Koim.
Last month another wanted criminal, Anis Koim of Dei district was arrested in Mt Hagen.
Ambane said Koim had been wanted for car theft.
Koim was transferred to Madang where he is alleged to have stolen a vehicle that he drove to Mt Hagen.
Ambane said another wanted man, Brus Pukaim of Keltiga village, was also arrested this year.
He was wanted by police for a series of armed robberies.
Ambane said Pukaim was charged with several counts of armed robberies and was now detained at Baisu jail.
He said these people allegedly lead other gang members to commit serious crimes in the province.
Following their arrest, the crime rate in the province had gradually declined, he said.
Ambane commended the people for their support in providing information leading to the arrest of wanted people.
He appealed to the people to report to
police if they knew of other criminals still at large in their community.
He said when people and police worked together criminal activities in the province would be reduced.