JICA Team Attacked

By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV News, Port Moresby

A Japanese Consultant was among five others from the CEPA-JICA team, who was attacked at Variarata 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 a 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 News office Saturday 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 the victims of the assault 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 Police quickly responded, intercepting the offender’s on their way to town, and transported them to Sogeri Police station for questioning.

However, no formal charges were laid, as the offenders threatened the police personnel, who 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, tomorrow.

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