Armed robbery prompts call for border post

Commissioner for Customs has been called on to have the border post at Kangu, in South Bougainville, established for border patrol to be conducted between the waters of South Bougainville and Solomon Islands.

Member for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, issued the call following an armed robbery at Maleai village, in the Solomon Islands on February 5th.

South Bougainville and Solomon Islands police reported a group of five suspects from Siwai, in South Bougainville, hijacked a banana boat and its skipper at gun point and ordered him to travel to Shortland islands.

There they held up a Chinese businessman at Maleai village, where they robbed him off beche-de-mer, solar panels, 200 litres of fuel, mobile phones and solar batteries.

A confrontation took place between the Maleai villagers and the robbers, resulting in a villager suffering gunshot wounds.

“To be branded international terrorists, these are people from my electorate and I’m not happy that they continue to intrude into Solomon Islands. It’s a sovereign country and people should respect these people of Solomon Islands,” said Masiu.

“They were there for us during the crisis, they helped us, they opened their doors to us and most of our people were assisted by them, when they were sick and wounded, and it’s about time we reciprocate and give them something instead of terrorising them again.”

Apologising to the Solomon Island authorities and families of the injured Maleai islander, he also urged police to fast track investigations.

“I’m calling on the Bougainville Police Service, they seem to allow these things to pass through and I’m calling on the ABG Police Minister and his commissioner to make sure that these perpetrators are arrested.”

Sally Pokiton