Tatana man given 2 years in prison

A man of Tatana and Lealea villages was sentenced to two years in prison today (Nov 5) for stealing fuel worth K24,640 from his employer in 2013.

43 year old Joel Solien was sentenced to two years behind bars or until he repays the full amount stolen.

Between July 1 and 31 2013, Solien was employed as a driver with East West Transport limited, a company contracted to transport fuel to the InterOil fuel service station.

It was between that time (he admitted in court yesterday Nov 4) that he sold fuel worth K24,640 to a Pakistan man in Port Moresby for K7,000.

He had worked with East-West Transport for seven month before committing the offence.  

The court was told that in the month of July, he was supposed to deliver five fuel components (loads) to the InterOil service station at Konedobu however he only delivered four components.

He later indicated on the delivery docket of delivering all five fuel components.

Solien pleaded guilty, expressing remorse yesterday and apologizing to his former employer and family for his crime  and indicated he will be repaying the full amount of K24, 640.

“You stole from the hands that feed you, your wife and children. You pay that first before you come out,” Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika said when sentencing Solien.

Solien has also had a record of absconding on scheduled court dates before his sentencing today.

He was committed to stand trial on July 2. He was expected to appear for mention at the National Court on July 27 however he failed to appear until August 10 when a bench warrant was issued against him by Sir Gibbs.

He was arrested on August 18 and remanded until  August 24 where he was released on bail.

He attended all his scheduled court dates in September however failed to appear yet again on October 12.

This saw another bench warrant issued against him by Justice Ellenas Batari while he was in Waigani for court circuit.

Solien was arrested on October 14 and has been in custody since.


Sally Pokiton