The National, Monday, May 23, 2011
ACTING deputy police commissioner operations Fred Yakasa has admitted some police officers may have been involved in William Kapris’ criminal network.
In Madang last week for sentencing in the Kapris case, Yakasa praised the courts and state agencies for their tremendous efforts.
Yakasa admitted there was some truth in allegations of police involvement in Kapris’ major organised crime network during the three major robberies of the Metal Refinery Operations where five gold bars worth more than K1 million and jewellery worth several thousand kinas were stolen; the Kerema BSP robbery where almost K800,000 was taken and the Madang BSP robbery in which more than K1 million was stolen.
Yakasa said during the three robberies and the spate of alleged kidnapping for ransom in 2008, there had been an urgent need to replace suspicious policemen.
He said that led to the formation of a special force, the Major Organised Crime Intelligence Team.
The brain child of Yakasa, the operation proved successful in apprehending Kapris and his associates in a little less than three months of operations.
“My men were working around the clock and at one stage did not sleep for 72 hours,” he said.
“That is the commitment and dedication the team members and sources put into arresting the nation’s most wanted man.
“Judge David Cannings was right when he said that public confidence in the police force and the banks have been questioned,” he said.
Cannings had said: “It was a highly organised crime which involved many and that he (Kapris) subverted the role of police by acting as an inspector.
“Not much has been recovered from the robbery, which seriously impairs public confidence in the banking system and can only adversely affect PNG’s international reputation.”
Yakasa said the case was not over yet as the Kerema robbery still had to be dealt with.
He said Kapris’ stay at Bomana “will be monitored as there are correctional officers involved in the underground network, as evidenced by the two that aided his recent escape”.
Yakasa said the fear level in the community had dropped but warned people to remain vigilant.