News Southern

CEPA-JICA Team Attacked at Varirata National Park


By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV News, Port Moresby

A Japanese Consultant was among five others from the CEPA-JICA team, who was attacked at Varirata Park outside Port Moresby.

The incident occurred yesterday while the officers were conducting reasearch, following the signing of a MoU for a bird watching project between CEPA and JICA.

The officers claimed the attacker, believed to be police officer on a drinking spree with his relatives, repeatedly assaulted them.

Their valuables were even destroyed while some stolen.

One of the officers Nathan Lati, Product Development Officer with Tourism Promotion Authority, fronted up at the EMTV Office this morning and told of their ordeal.

He said he and his five other colleagues were waiting for the park ranger inside the security checkpoint when a blue ten seater land cruiser with about ten drunken men and women pulled up beside them enquiring what their business was there.

The CEPA officers had spoken politely to them explaining they had been waiting for the park ranger to open the gates for them.

The offenders had at that time seemingly left on good terms before reversing to the roadside and returned to confront for reasons that remain unclear.

Among them was a JICA consultant, Yoshito Mochizuki, who suffered multiple bruises to his head.

Lati who sustained cuts to his left cheek and right eye tried to help his colleagues when another man punched his face from behind.

He immediately reported the matter in an email to the PNGTPA head office copying the Port Moresby Police network under Sergeant Dominic Kakas.

Sogeri Policequickly responded intercepting the offender’s on the way to town and transported them to Sogeri Police station for questioning.

However no formal charges were laid, as offenders threatened the men and police personnel were outnumbered.

The Central Command later intervened with a reinforcement police unit, who transferred the case to 17 Mile Police Station.

The offenders are now locked up at the Boroko Police Station, awaiting court on Monday, next week.

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