A total of 153 suspects were arrested and formally charged by a joint effort by members of the RPNGC in the Northern Command on Thursday.
The men were charged on two counts each for unlawfully entering company premises, and carrying offensive weapons.
Madang’s Provincial Police Commander, Acting Superintendent, Manzuc Rubiang, says the suspects are the landowners of the Barrick Kainantu mine in the Eastern Highlands province.
The men are from the three Bilimoya villages and are landowners of the Barrick Mine in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands province.
These men armed themselves with weapons and went into the mining area after their request to the company to fix an existing provincial road had failed. Resulting in the shutdown of the mine by the villagers, last Monday.
A special court sitting was arranged in Ramu with Magistrate, Nasling Bintau, at the Ramu District Court on Friday.
The court convicted the suspects with the maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and or K2000 fine.
77 suspects paid their fine and were released.
The other 76 men were transported to Beon jail yesterday by members of the RPNGC from Lae Metropolitan Command, Eastern Highlands and Madang provinces.
The men were taken straight to Jomba police station where health officers carried out medical checks before they can be taken to Beon Jail.
Three of the men checked yesterday had high temperature readings and were placed under isolation for monitoring.
The provincial police commander is warning people not to take the law into their hands or carry out illegal activities during this time.
Saying the COVID-19 situation in the country will not deter police from carrying out their judicial responsibilities.
By Martha Louis – EMTV News – Madang