Women held for aiding criminals


MORE than 200 women from Tebi local level government in Tari-Pori district, Hela, have been arrested for aiding and harbouring criminals who stole a police firearm.
Provincial police commander Martin Lakari said Tuesday’s mass arrest of the women was first in Hela.
He said it was a warning to criminals that their mothers, wives and sisters would be arrested for abetting them.
Lakari said the criminals stole the police M16 and used it to kill many people in ongoing tribal fights.
It led to deprivation of vital government services with many innocent people homeless.
Schools and health facilities have been closed and students deprived of education.
Lakari said the women were arrested because they were the criminals’ source of strength.
The women were questioned and screened on Wednesday morning to find out those who harboured and aided criminals.
The women were at a funeral service when police arrived at the scene and arrested them. Criminals and others at the scene fled.
Lakari said relatives of the women arrested must immediately identify the criminals and return the firearm.
He said criminals could not continue to use a State weapon to murder innocent people.
“Police are fed up of the ongoing tribal fights in Hela,” Lakari said.
“Fights have ceased because of police operations.
“Police recently made mass arrests along the section of the Highlands Highway towards Ambua Gap.
“Today, there are no holdups and there is peace.
“We want that peace to continue, not short-lived.
“Criminals can escape, but their mothers, sisters and wives will became scapegoats and police will continue their work.”
Lakari said police were continuing their operations because they wanted peace in Hela and people to live a normal life.
“Other provinces cannot continue to see Hela as a lawless province,” he said.