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Port Moresby
January 16, 2021

Suspected Sorcery Killings: Funds Needed To Complete Investigation

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Madang Police need funding to properly complete the investigation of 200 suspected sorcery-related killings in Ramu two months ago.

The suspects are in custody at Beon Jail after the court charged them for carrying offensive weapons.


Provincial Police Commander Sylvester Kalaut says it is a struggle to source funds to complete investigations.


“I am sourcing out funds from the district and Police Headquarters to process their criminal charges as well,” he says.


The criminal charges include wilful murder, arson and grievous bodily harm.


Madang police arrested the mob in early March, after the group hunted and hacked to death people suspected of practicing witchcraft in Ramu.


They used bush knives, including bows and arrows, to chase down and kill eight people, including a child.


The first victim was a man who was decapitated, his body found riddled with arrows.


Two months later, Madang Provincial Police Commander Sylvester Kalaut is short of funds to complete the investigations.


Sorcery killings in our country have received widespread attention from the outside world. This case has one has become another.


The sorcery-related killings two months ago were not the first in the Ramu area.


 “Sanctioned by the community… It is turning into a cult-like activity,” says Kalaut.


The Provincial Police Commander says the mob has to face criminal charges because the problem has been ongoing. 


At least 100 people have been killed in the last 10 years.


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