by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
Kokopo police had begun a manhunt into a robbery spree that hit the town of Kokopo and Rabaul over the last 14 days.
East New Britain police boss, Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr, says two gangs have been identified and their member’s identities are known.
Following five robberies in various locations in Kokopo and Rabaul over the last two weeks, the police have gone on full alert.
One of these robberies happened inside Tokua Airport Terminal when a passenger was robbed in daylight.
Police believe the robberies are connected to the same gang.
Kokopo and Rabaul police have begun a frequent dawn raid since last week.
And since the raid began, suspects have gone into hiding.
The provincial police commander, Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr, is confident to do more arrests soon.
The rate of armed robberies has subsided, at least for a while, the police boss says.
The manhunt for the suspects had begun last week, and police are piecing together information that will lead to the arrests of these gangs.
And most of the gang members have criminal records, the police say.
Three suspects have been apprehended by police including members of their families who have been harbouring them.
One of the suspects, who was an escapee from Kerevat jail, has since been shot dead last week.
The stealing spree over the last two weeks included car theft and armed robberies.
While police are curbing the upsurge of these crimes, there are more challenges waiting for them, Superintendent Wagambie says.