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Lae Police make arrests on West Taraka Police Station arsonists

12 suspects allegedly  involved in the burning of Lae’s West Taraka Police station on Monday are now in police custody . They are awaiting charges to be laid against them.  Four suspects surrendered to police last night, while one surrendered this morning.

Another who escaped to Bulolo surrendered to Bulolo police today. Acting Metropolitan Commander for Lae, Chief Inspector Timothy Pomoso, said police went into the community and demanded the members of the community to surrender the suspects.

The West Taraka Police station was one of 6 suburban police stations in Lae city. The building that housed the station was one of the oldest.

It was built in 1973 as a church building. Then it was later used as a community hall. This is until the former Lae Metropolitan Commander, ACP Ivan Lakatani, had it converted into a police station.

On Monday, at around midnight,  12 suspects under the influence of alcohol burnt down the police station. It is not known what other items were also burnt in the fire.

Police believed the burning down of the station is in relation to threats police have been getting from criminals.

Police also recovered home-made guns and other equipment that were used to produce weapons.

The items and a suspect were handed over to police by community leaders. Yesterday Structures used as housing along the road side were also burnt and others pulled down. 

In October, Mutzing Police Station was also destroyed in a fire. Investigations are still ongoing to establish what had happened and how the fire started.

A prisoner left unattended when the fire started, then died in the blaze.

On Saturday, police were engaged in another shootout with criminals at six mile.  One suspect was shot dead while two others are in critical condition.

Lae Metropolitan Commander Chief Superintendent, Anthony Wagambie Jr. has warned criminals that they will be hunted down by police if they continue to commit crimes in the community.

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