Wanted by police – a chopper airlift to hunt a PNG gang of thieves

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PNG police
PNG police "gang busters" ... hunting the notorious “Het Wara” gang which has been terrorising villages in the Rai coast near Madang for more than two years. Image: PNG Post-Courier

By Rebecca Kuku in Port Moresby

A 21-man Papua New Guinean police team deployed to Nankina Valley in Madang’s Rai coast district has requested a helicopter to go after the “Het Wara” gang which has been terrorising villages in the area for more than two years.

Detective Inspector Steve Yalamu, who commands the operation, told the PNG Post-Courier that they had identified three places where the gangs had been operating from.

He said the police team — 11 officers from Madang and 10 from Northern Mobile Group — are based in Mibu, while the gang is many kilometres away.

“The group is based at Dike and has support units at Turiknan and Kowan,” Detective Inspector Yalamu said.

He said the gang was continuing to attack villages far from Mibu, where the police are currently based.

“It would take us days to reach them due to the rugged terrain, but by the time we reach the place, they would be long gone,” Yalamu said.

“My men are ready to go in but it would be too risky, plus it would take us days to get there.

‘We need helicopter airlift’
“We need a helicopter to airlift us into these places so we can get them.

“So we are waiting for the helicopter to come so we can infiltrate their base and capture them.”

Detective Inspector Yalamu said the groups were armed and had the advantage of knowing the rugged terrain well so he had requested the helicopter.

“When we first landed in Mibu on Sunday, we were told the gang would attack at night but luckily for them, they had a change of heart and didn’t come as we were ready and waiting,” he said.

“The gang has been running around doing whatever they wanted in the last two years and they’ve become bold but the law will still catch up with them.”

Rebecca Kuku is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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