Marape accuses ‘rogue police’ of being part of Port Moresby’s riots

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PNG Prime Minister James Marape
PNG Prime Minister James Marape . . . blame partly on renegade police over last week's Black Wednesday looting and rioting. Image: PNG Post-Courier

By Gorethy Kenneth and Miriam Zarriga in Port Moresby

Rogue police officers have been alleged to be part of last Wednesday’s uprising of opportunists leading to looting and ransacking of more than 20 shops and loss of businesses in the capital of Port Moresby.

Prime Minister James Marape said last week’s “Black Wednesday” unrest had led the government to consider the Vagrancy Act and complete the national Census.

Marape said the 14-day State of Emergency orders included “no movement of large crowds”.

“There is no curfew and limited movement of large crowds will be stopped,” he said.

“Police will be supported by the PNG Defence Force and they will be allowed to stop anyone and check them.

“We are taking a soft approach to the SOE for the next 14 days,” Marape added.

Brian Bell Group chair Ian Clough
Brian Bell Group chair Ian Clough . . . K50 million losses not covered by insurance. Image: Linked-in

Meanwhile, Brian Bell Group chair Ian Clough has made an impassioned plea to the government for assistance to rebuild its business because the company’s losses suffered in the Black Wednesday plunder were not covered by insurance, reports Claudia Tally.

He said that all businesses which suffered the “indignity of huge losses” through theft, arson and looting were not covered by insurance companies.

Brian Bell suffered losses of 50 million kina (NZ$21.5 million) million) after its warehouse in Port Moresby’s Gerehu Stage 6 was completely emptied by looters during the citywide plunder of businesses on January 10.

An emotional Clough said all businesses were not covered by insurance for civil unrest. This situation needed to be treated as a “natural disaster” where the government
must step in to assist.

Gorethy Kenneth, Miriam Zarriga and Claudia Tally are PNG Post-Courier reporters. Republished with permission.

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