By Rachael Shisei – EM TV News, Madang
A Grade 10 student, with the help of an accomplice, robbed a woman who had K4,000 in her bag, on a bus travelling to the Sisiak area in Madang.
The alleged suspect was released by a Constable without bail, despite being arrested and charged by a Criminal Investigations Officer.
Senior members of the police force were in a meeting today regarding the unlawful release of the alleged suspect.
After struggling for almost two minutes in the fight against robbers pulling on her bag and dragging her in the act, Julie Ariako was left with bruises. But, because she struggled, the robbers made away with only K500 and other personal belongings, not realising, that most of the money, totaling to K3,500 were scattered on the ground.
The alleged suspect is a Grade 10 student of Tusbab Secondary School, who is said to have conducted the alleged crime on the weekend. As a student, his national exams commence this week. His arrested occured after his exams on Monday.
“I recognised him so I approached and held him, and my husband helped me take him to the police Criminal Investigating officers, who were already waiting to arrest him at the school,” said Mrs Ariako.
The student suspect was arrested and charged for ‘Stealing with Violence’, and was locked up at the Jomba police station cells, not allowed bail.
The same night, the victim’s family was approached by relatives of the suspect three times with K500, asking that the student be released to sit for his exams.
“They approached three times, obviously under the influence of alcohol, and with the K500, but my wife and I refused, as we want justice to be served,” said Andrew Ariako, the victim’s husband, a former, longest serving premier/governor of Madang.
Apart from reliable sources, the student suspect’s identity was revealed, when he posted photos of himself on Facebook, wearing the same t-shirt he wore on the day of the robbery, and the victim will use the photos as evidence in court.
The reason for the student’s release was because of his exams, but according to the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Division, Steven Yalamu, only the court has the authority to make that decision, and not the police.
“If he’s a student with his exams coming up, why did he go robbing people on the weekend just before that, he’s not a student anymore this makes him a criminal already,” said the victim’s husband, Andrew Arioke
The new Provincial Police Commander has not taken office yet, and no one is acting. Therefore the couple are seeking to bring the matter to the police commissioner’s attention.