PNG national’s death in Indonesia ‘suspicious’

A PNG national is alleged to have died in an Indonesian prison camp and sent back to PNG.

West Sepik Provincial Police Commander, Moses Ibsage, says the body of the deceased was brought back to PNG and is currently at the Vanimo morgue waiting to be identified.

He said the deceased is from Aitape.

The PPC said at this stage they do not know the circumstances surrounding the death of the PNG national, adding it was claimed the deceased was involved in drug trafficking.

“His body has been repatriated to PNG by road. The sad thing is that there wasn’t any post mortem conducted on the other side,” stated the PPC.

“We have received absolutely no background information as to the cause of the death. We were surprised when we were advised by the Consul General that the body was repatriated back to Vanimo and we provided the escort all the way back to the morgue at Vanimo General Hospital. He’s now laid there without being identified,” said Ibsage.

“The relatives were advised but we couldn’t conduct the post mortem as it is because the death took place in a foreign country, so there has to be processes and procedures applied as well.

“Our Consul General, our ambassador should be advised of the death and it comes to foreign affairs and to the police commissioner and it comes down to us.”

Furthermore, based on the few details they have, they are treating the death as suspicious.

“I am reluctant to conduct post-mortem at the moment because we don’t have full details as to how and why he died and his details. We were not advised of anything, we only took the body. The background information of his death is unknown. And also since he died in a prison camp, it will be interesting to know why and how he died in the prison camp.

“The body is still unfortunately in the morgue. We are still waiting for more information before we can facilitate the autopsy of the deceased.”

Meanwhile, the PPC said they also received unconfirmed reports of another individual who allegedly died prior at a prison camp on the other side of the border.

“There was an earlier case involving a PNG national but it was not reported to us. We only learnt of it through Facebook. That’s all we know. But we learnt that it’s a PNG national who died there and eventually was buried there without advising us. That was from social media. The official information has not been provided for us.”

PPC Ibsage said they will raise the matter regarding citizens dying across the border at the annual Border Liaison Meeting.

“We will raise this issue because from our end, we observe the Geneva Convention, but it seems that our friends on the other side are not following what is required by international law and it is an issue we have to raise and there has to be an understanding between them and us.

“We can’t let our citizens die in their land without notifying us of the cause of the death and all this, this is very serious.

“The meeting is normally conducted every, the last time we held it in Bali, this year I believe it will be held in PNG,” said the PPC.

Cedric Patjole