8 Jan 2013

PNG police wait for funding to resume search for missing scientists

2:57 pm on 8 January 2013

The Police in Papua New Guinea are hoping the government will soon release funding for them to resume a search for a group of missing scientists.

The five scientists and three crew from the Institute of Medical Research disappeared in August 2011 while travelling to an island off West New Britain and the hunt for them was stalled last year because of a lack of money.

The Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba says police set a budget for the mission late last year, including the cost of hiring helicopters, and he is now waiting for the government to provide the finances.

"Now that we've gone into the new financial year, we may be able to look at our recurrent budget. But we're hoping that our previous costings is being assessed and that is attended to by the government and the government possibly provide us with adequate funding so we can be able to continue with where we left off."

Simon Kauba says police and the family of the missing scientists believe they are still alive.