by Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV, Port Moresby
Acting Departmenty Police Commissioner Jim Andrews has issued instructions for Lae police to hunt down suspects involved in the Nadzab Airport raid on Monday.
Mr Andrews said the attack at the end of the 6th PNG Games must be thoroughly investigated, with those responsible brought to justice.
He said the police had not responded quickly because passengers, security guards and workers were held hostage and their mobile phones had been removed by the thugs. He said the police post at Nadzab opens only during daytime as the premises is manned by private security services on 24-hour shifts.
Initial police investigations indicate that airline auditors were going to reconcile Air Niugini transaction records at Nadzab Airport at the time when criminals ransacked the office, destroying files and paperwork pertaining to the audit investigation.
“We have not ruled out the possibility of a motive. The attack happened when the audit investigations were in process. I don’t think they are coincidental,” the police chief said.
“The criminals attempted to cut open a safe inside the office using oxyacetylene but the operation was aborted, probably because they had used up all the gas,” Mr Andrews said.
The thugs stole a TV decoder from the VIP lounge and removed K300 and four Toshiba laptops from the Travel Air office.
They broke into three convenience shops, removed food items and later took an undisclosed sum of money from their hostages. The Departmenty Commissioner said police have some leads and are expected to make some arrests soon.
He appealed to the local community living near Nadzab Airport to come forward and assist police in their investigations.