By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen
One criminal was shot dead while six suspects escaped from an armed robbery at Kudjip in Jiwaka Province on Monday morning. Police say the criminals were dressed in full PNG Defence Force-issued uniforms and were armed with high-powered weapons. The public responded quickly and attacked the criminals before police intervened.
The incident occurred on the morning of March 25th at an Asian-owned store at Kudjip in Jiwaka Province, along the Okuk Highway. Seven men, pretending to be PNG Defence Force soldiers walked into the Asian store and demanded two Chinese men their passports and visas to prove their legality in the country.
According to police, the two Chinese men invited them into their office to present their documents when they were attacked by the criminals. The seven men walked out of the office pretending that nothing had happened when bystanders noticed their suspicious movements and alerted the public that an armed robbery had happened.
The criminals were dressed in full PNGDF uniforms and were armed with factory-made pistols and few high powered rifles. The crowds started throwing sticks and stones at the criminals when they retaliated and opened fire into the crowd. That was when the police intervened and shot one of the criminals when he fled for his life, running towards Kudjip Hospital.
Police will conduct further investigations into the armed robbery as well as on the PNGDF-issued uniforms and firearms.
The PNG Defence force engineering battalion in Banz was alerted of the incident and will assist police with further investigations.