Aggrieved father calls for assistance

A father whose son had been missing for five months following a tragic boat mishap between Lihir, New Ireland and Bougainville is urging the Bougainville and PNG police, and Weather office to provide clarity on the final investigation.

Edward Bukil, a small business entrepreneur in Buka, has decried how the police have handled the investigation of the missing person case which was recorded five months ago.

Expressing his frustration with the lack of communication from relevant authorities, Mr Bukil has called on Police in Buka and Police Commissioner David Manning to help his family in finding or seeking justice for his son.

Bukil is also urging the police, Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), and other relevant authorities to disclose the whereabouts of the six individuals who were with his son on the ill-fated boat.

Five months ago, the family carried out its investigations in search of Bukil’s missing son, Reinhart Alat Bukil, a mechanic who was working in Lihir and operated a small auto shop on the island.

Reinhart was part of a nine-member team of Bougainvilleans who embarked on a boat trip from Lihir to Kessa, Buka Island, on January 27, 2024.

Tragically, the boat and its passengers went missing the next day. After a search and rescue operation, the boat and its occupants were located by a Chinese fishing vessel in the Pacific Ocean and taken to Kiribati.

Despite the rescue and recovery of some of the passengers, including two who were initially unaccounted for, Reinhart remains missing. The family lodged a complaint with the police in Port Moresby and has since been met with a lack of updates on the investigation.

In an emotional plea, Edward Bukil stated, "My son is still missing. I have not received any information from the authorities regarding his whereabouts. I demand to know what happened to my son. I will not rest until I find him or seek justice for him."

Bukil emphasized his commitment to continuing his investigations and called on the six individuals who were with his son to come forward and provide information on his whereabouts. He has invested personal resources and engaged legal services to help pursue this matter.

As the search for answers continues, Bukil voiced his concerns over the handling of the case and urged authorities to provide transparency and closure to the affected families.

"We demand accountability and closure in this matter. I want to know where my son is. If they have killed him, let me know where they buried him. If he was dead at sea, please come and tell me so I can do a small ceremony to honour him. Whatever happened to my son, I want to know.  I will not stop until I find where he is or have justice for my son,” Bukil concluded.

Loop Author