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Armed police seize PNG's fraud directorate

THE National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate office at police headquarters was under siege yesterday morning, seized by armed men from another unit.
The siege lasted four hours as tension soared in Konedobu through uncertainty of what was happening.
Multiple vehicles were parked around and on the roads at headquarters, cutting off public access to and from the fraud squad unit as armed policemen walked around the area. The public was too scared to ask.
According to a senior police officer, all the tyres on vehicles belonging to the fraud squad unit were deflated.
There appeared to be no intervention by the top hierarchy of the Police Force. There are already signs of frustration from many senior police officers over internal conflicts within police units, which threaten to spill into the public domain.
Some were talking of a mass walkout by dedicated officers, contradicting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki’s recent reassurance to the public that the Constabulary was stable, intact and remained committed to discharging its constitutional duties in maintaining law and order.
Yesterday’s siege followed an attack on a fraud unit detective on Sunday after the fraud squad began serving court papers on police officers who allegedly interfered and frustrated the execution of the warrant of arrest on the Prime Minister in relation to the Paul Paraka Lawyers saga.
In a previous statement, Mr Vaki had said that in a briefing before his leave overseas, he had reached an understanding with the Fraud Squad that no action would be taken while the stay order on the arrest warrant was in place to maintain the status quo.
"In my absence, CSP Damaru sought and obtained authorisation from Deputy Commissioner Administration Awan Sete in his capacity as the Acting Police Commissioner to serve contempt charges on a number of policemen attached with the NCD-Central Command Task Force and Special Services Division based at McGregor Barracks.
"Orders issued by CSP Damaru and DCP Sete resulted in the serious confrontation between members of NFACD and the NCD-Central Command Task Force and Special Services Division based at McGregor Barracks where Sergeant Pokop and Detective Sergeant Premenga were assaulted," Mr Vaki said.

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