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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PNG Police to investigate Milne Bay hostage hoax

Police in the Milne Bay Province will investigate and arrest those responsible for the Milne Bay hostage hoax says Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent Joseph Morehari.

Chief Superintendent Morehari said the hostage hoax spread like wildfire and shocked the nation and even gave the peaceful province a very negative image overseas.

He said an international cruise ship had to be diverted, thus costing the local tourism industry a lot of money. He added that it is not known how much damage this hoax will have caused to the local economy in the immediate and long term.

“We are investigating how it happened and we will deal with those responsible for creating the hoax,” Chief Superintendent Morehari said.

He said it was initially reported at about 9am yesterday (Monday August 1) that eight people were held hostage in the four buildings that housed a number of businesses including PNG Airlines and The National Mapping Bureau.

He said Milne Bay police used the hostage–rescue approach and eventually entered the buildings and “freed” four staff of PNG Airline and four staff members of the National Mapping Bureau.

“I think it was the right approach police took given the initial information received. Apparently someone had reported that there was a robbery taking place inside the PNG Airlines office. A crowd gathered outside. Police came on site and the PNG Airlines staff saw the build-up of people outside and locked themselves in.

“We tear-gassed the building and entered through. Eventually we cleared every room of each building at about 3pm yesterday only to find that this was not a hostage situation. However, there was an attempted robbery at the PNG Airlines which prompted the staff to lock the doors,” the Provincial Police Commander said.

He said Alotau town today resumed normal as usual with shops and business houses opening for business. Post Courier / PNG Today

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 11:03 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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