Colonel Esekia Wenzel

​PNGDF clarifies detained personnel’s leave

Joint Operations Commander Colonel Esekia Wenzel clarified that the two men sought leave prior to the May directive issued by the PNGDF Commander, stopping all personnel to apply for leave during the elections period.

Wenzel warned however that they did not get proper authorisation to be engaged in employment during their leave period.

He explains that this forms the basis of this morning’s directive by the office of the PNGDF Chief of staff for them to cease employment with the security firm they were attached with.

​Detained defence soldiers told to leave employment

However, a directive issued by the Office of the Chief of Staff this morning has called for the two men employed with the S.O.S security firm to be disengaged from that employment.

The Joint Operations commander, Colonel Esekia Wenzel, says one of the men was on emergency leave en route to Kavieng but was taken in by police as he was in the same airplane that the group of men were on.

The other two defence men, despite being on approved leave, will need to cease employment with the S.O.S security service firm.

​PNGDF soldiers detained in Kokopo

This was confirmed by the joint operations commander Colonel Esekia Wenzel, who says the men were detained but then released without being charged.

Colonel Wenzel could not verify the circumstances surrounding the detainment but says his office has confirmed that the men were detained following a tip off to police.

These three men, attached with the Air Transport Wing, are currently on leave from duties.

One of them was en route to Kavieng for an emergency leave but was detained along with the rest of the men, who were all in the same group travelling into Kokopo.