Ten PNG kidnap victims released after ransom

1:48 pm on 25 August 2020

Ten local workers kidnapped from a logging camp in Papua New Guinea's Western Province have been released after their relatives paid a ransom.

Fly River, Western Province, Papua New Guinea.

Fly River, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: EM TV

The hostages were taken last Tuesday.

South Fly district police commander Ewai Segi said seven men and three women were taken at midnight from the camp in Middle Fly's Bamu, by kidnappers brandishing factory-made firearms.

He said police pursued them to Wawoi Falls where they reduced their ransom demand from $US450,000 to just $2,000.

It was paid by relatives against police advice, before the hostages were released on Friday.

Police were continuing to look for the kidnappers.

Segi said it was the second time hostages were taken from the logging camp this year, after six Asian workers were kidnapped and released in April following an $US85,000 ransom payment.

Illegal foreign logging workers under scrutiny in PNG's Oro province

Meanwhile authorities have arrested dozens of foreigners alleged to have been working on logging sites without visas.

The Immigration and Citizenship Authority has been inspecting logging operations in Oro Porovince whose governor Gary Juffa has repeatedly warned that many foreigners are working illegally in PNG.

Local media reports said police and Immigration officers arrested 30 mainly Indonesian and Filipino workers from a logging site in Sohe district.

However 16 allegedly illegal Malaysian immigrants managed to evade capture at a separate logging site at Musa, where the Immigration officers came to inspect.