Two police vehicles, M16 rifle returned while an AR15 firearm is still missing in PNG highlands

PORT MORESBY, 19 JUNE 2018 (POST COURIER) – A M16 firearm has been returned along with two police vehicles after being taken from Papua New Guinea police officers who were returning from Hagen on their way to Tari in Hela Province.

The rifle was returned with assurances given that the second firearm, an AR15, would also be returned.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Kaiglo Ambane, who is the Western End director said Monday that his officers were not hurt however he was disappointed in the manner they were held up and the State firearms stolen.

The incident occurred at Semin Village at Tindom Hill in Nipa.

Ambane said while his officers were left unharmed the manner in which they were held up was unacceptable. According to reports on the ground the police officers were returning when their vehicles were surrounded by armed men and their firearms were removed.

The second vehicle was making a run for it when they shot its tyres, Ambane said. According to pictures posted on social media, after the theft of the firearms and the vehicles, villagers were seen parading the stolen firearms in front of the two police vehicles.

Ambane said after repeated efforts from the locally-based Nipa police officers, the two vehicles were released and a firearm, the M16, was handed back. However a second firearm is yet to be returned, he added.

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