9 Jul 2007

Papua New Guinea police seize guns in Western Highlands

10:10 am on 9 July 2007

Papua New Guinea police say government troops deployed for election duties in the Highlands region have recovered four high powered guns and an automatic pistol and a total of twenty people are in police custody facing various criminal charges.

The weapons were confiscated as polling got underway in Western Highlands.

The seizure of the guns in Mt Hagen follows the discovery of a semi automatic HK rifle and a large quantity of ammunition hidden in a politician's house in Kundiawa.

In Tee school outside Mount Hagen, two ballot boxes were forcefully taken by supporters of a candidate but quick intervention by members of the security forces resulted in the arrest of fifteen suspects.

The M16 and SLR rifles loaded with ammunition were recovered by security forces during this incident.

Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Operations Geoffrey Vaki, says security personnel will continue to mount road blocks on every access road into Mount Hagen and operations aimed at retrieving more guns will be carried out simultaneously to ensure that law abiding citizens are given the opportunity to vote in a free and fair election.