By Edwin Fidelis – EMTV News, Kokopo
East New Britain police have gunned down two wanted criminals late yesterday, following a gun battle that lasted for a few minutes.
The two deceased suspects, Simon Kekep and Papal Waragat, both from Ulagunan village in Kokopo District.
East New Britain’s Provincial Police Commander, Snr. Inspector Joseph Tabali, has confirmed, both men were wanted for a string of crime, including breaking and entering, armed robberies, possession of illegal firearms and escaping from lawful custody. The two men were shot at Raluana along the North Coast Road area.
The shooting follows a string of armed hold-ups that hit the tourism capital in the past three weeks.
The recent surge in crime has sent fear amongst business houses.
The East New Britain Chamber of Commerce President, David Stein, has been coordinating numerous meetings to engage both business houses, the police, and the public to take immediate actions to contain the problem.
One of the recommendations made was to establish a police toll-free number, that will give reliable access to anyone to report a crime or any suspicious activities.
The East New Britain Governor Nakikus Konga, on numerous occasions, has shown dissatisfaction over the level of crime in the province.
Konga says the high crime rate, if persist will push away tourism, an industry that the province is keen to promote.