9 Mar 2006

Bougainville government targeted in plot - report

4:28 pm on 9 March 2006

A report from the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville says a wanted money scam operator, Noah Musingku, has plans to overthrow the province's autonomous government.

The Buka police intelligence says Mr Musingku was building up manpower in Tonu by training more than 500 men to be his soldiers.

The Post Courier reports that 200 more recruits were expected to travel from Buka to Tonu last week to undergo training under five former Fiji soldiers.

The Fijians, who are ex-commandos in the Fiji military, arrived late last year reportedly to provide security for a payout by Mr Musingku.

Since then, police reports say the Fijians have conducted military-type training of young people at Mr Musingku's U-Vistract company base in Tonu.

Meanwhile, Me'ekamui leader Raymond Hakena has dismissed the police report as propaganda which could create instability.

Mr Hakena distanced the Me'ekamui from the report, saying U-Vistract was behind all the training and recruitment.