130 years in total for Maybank robbers

The six men who were convicted for their involvement in the country’s biggest armed robbery in 2013 have been sentenced to a total of 130 years in jail at Bomana.

The Waigani National Court this morning sentenced two of the men to 25 years in prison while four were given 20 years in jail each.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika gave a concurrent sentence to the six; Casper Louis, Paul Steven, Gelison William, Hubert Korede, Stewart Korina and Samson Banaso.

They were convicted for conspiring to steal and stealing.

The charge for stealing they stood trial for is under the amended section 372(1)(A)(7) of the Criminal Code Act that was done on Sept 18, 2013. The Robbery was committed on Oct 4, 2013.

Under section 372(1)(A)(7), it involves stealing amounts more than K1 million but not exceeding K10m.

Under the amendments, offense under this provision is punishable up to a term of 50 years’ imprisonment.

For the count of conspiracy, they were each sentenced to 7 years in jail.

This sentence will be served at the same time with the count of stealing.

Loius (46) of Salamaua in Morobe and Goilala, Central province parentage was given 25 years.

He was the mastermind in the robbery.

He admitted to the charges on March 7 and was convicted accordingly.

Since spending 3 years and 8 months already in remand at Bomana, his sentence has been reduced to 22 years from his head sentence.

Steven (35) of Henganofi, Eastern Highlands Province pleaded not guilty to both charges.

A trial was conducted against him and four others for a period of four weeks.

He was convicted on April 13 with the other four.  

He also spent 3 years and 8 months in remand.

The time in remand will also be suspended from his head sentence of 25 years.

Steven will now spend 22 years in prison.

Korede (48) of Northern Province, Banaso (47) of Henganofi, Eastern Highlands province, Korina (30) of Sohe, Northern province and William (39) of Missima, Milne Bay province were all sentenced to 20 years each.

They also spent 3 years and 8 months in remand at Bomana awaiting trial and sentence.

The time in custody will also be deducted and they will now spend 16 years in prison each.

The robbery was committed between 9:30 and 10am on Oct 4, 2013, where armed men got away with 19 tins of cash containing K5.96m.

The monies were being transported from Maybank at Waigani to the Bank of Papua New Guinea when the armoured vehicle (pictured above) carrying the cash was diverted around Crown Plaza to the Touaguba Hill, arriving at a house in East Boroko where the cash was distributed.

The robbery took two months of planning.

The now convicted prisoners of the state said they planned and carried out the robbery because they were frustrated at their employer, G4S Security Solutions after two unsuccessful petitions.

The petitions covered requests for life insurance, risk allowance and body armour amongst others, following an incident in the Morobe Province where two of their colleagues died in 2011 in a Helicopter crash while on duty.

Banaso is the only one who was not an employee of G4S at the time of the robbery. 

Only K1.56 million was recovered by police. 

(Pictured is the armoured vehicle that was used in the robbery. Picture by Kennedy Bani.) 

Sally Pokiton