PNG Air Limited says the armed robbery at its Alotau sales office was not a hoax.
Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Abbot, speaking to EMTV News exclusively criticised the media for not being responsible in their reporting.
“It’s unfortunate because the media has moved on reporting, based on the information they received from other sources, obviously that this was a hoax.
“But I can confirm that it did happen. We [are] just grateful because there was no harm to our staff, and hopefully we can move on from here,” Abbot said.
PNG Air has confirmed the armed robbery took place at its Alotau office on Monday this week. It happened minutes after revenue takings were deposited into the bank.
Yesterday, PNG Air management flew to Alotau to assess the situation and provide support for their staff involved in the incident.
“Just to set the record straight that at 9.30 on Monday morning, our sales office in Alotau was held up by two armed robbers. One had a bush knife and one a home-made pistol.
“When the sales office was clear, they held this weapons to the heads of our sales staff and demanded that they hand over cash, which they did for their safety.
“During some confusion, they then ran into a back office, and barricaded themselves, so they removed themselves from the immediate treats which was correct and appropriate.
“At that stage, they notified the security, police and our head office for PNG Air as well, that in fact, an armed robbery had just taken place and after some time, the ladies were eventually freed by the police, through a side window,” he said
PNG Air is now providing necessary support, including counselling, to all affected staff.
Abbot says that normal business operations will continue
“At the stage the three staff members who are females yesterday, provided statements to the police and have been provided with some counselling support through the Salvation Army just to assists them get through this traumatic time,” he said.
Meanwhile, PNG Air Limited thanked the Milne Bay community for their support.