Bougainville Thieves Allegedly Raid Solomons Logging Camp
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 29, 2013) – There has been a raid by criminals, believed to be from Bougainville, on a logging camp in nearby Shortland Islands, part of the Solomon Islands.
The Shortlands are actually closer to Bougainville than the Solomon Islands and there are traditional ties between the two areas.
There is a history of intermarriage between the Shortland and Buin people, with trade continuing to this day.
The recent raid occurred on January 20 when a group armed with at least one factory-made pistol entered the logging camp and threatened security guards.
They reportedly made off with several chainsaws.
An ex-combatant in Buin whose group is working closely with local police to maintain law and order in the area said he knew who the perpetrators were after learning of the gun used in the raid.
He said he will find the culprits and help bring them to justice.
“The chainsaws are here in Buin,” he said, adding, “the people in the logging camp have information but are scared to talk.”
He said his intelligence suggested that a logging employee had helped the raiders conduct the heist. “It looks like an inside job,” he said.
Ex-combatants in Buin have been working closely with the police to maintain law and order in the border town and surrounding areas - something welcomed by the community.
A local business person expressed the view that, though Buin had until recently been known as a “cowboy town”, she now feels very safe, thanks to these efforts.
Radio New Zealand reported that “there has been a call by Solomon Islanders living along the sea border with Papua New Guinea to review security” in light of the raid.
PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/
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