The vehicle, a ten seater Toyota Land Cruiser with plate number HAP 139 was parked at the residence of the Program Manager for Provincial Division of Primary Industry (DPI) when it was taken.
Program Manager Umar Nuka told Loop PNG news that it was an unfortunate situation adding that it was the only vehicle that was used to execute all the DPI programs in Jiwaka.
“We believe it is an organised criminal activity because some eyewitnesses who saw what was happening at around 2pm in the morning said several people were loaded in a waiting vehicle fully armed with weapons,” said Umar.
He said the criminals pushed the vehicle onto the highway (Highlands Highway) and used some key to start the engine and drove away.
“We’ve reported the matter to Minj police the next day but to date, all searches have been in vain,” said Umar.
Meanwhile, police station commander for Minj, Horim Piamia said the search will continue until the culprits are apprehended.
Piamia is also appealing to the general public to report to police if they have seen the vehicle somewhere or report any suspicious activities as well.
According to police, vehicle theft is very rare in Jiwaka and described this incident as the first of its kind in the province and urged everyone to assist police to recoup the vehicle.