Home Melanesia Business Manning refutes allegations raised against PNG contingent in Solomon Islands

Manning refutes allegations raised against PNG contingent in Solomon Islands

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ROYAL PAPUA NEW GUINEA CONSTABULARY

MEDIA STATEMENT

Wednesday 09 February, 2022

Police Commissioner David Manning has refuted serious allegations raised against members of the PNG Police and Correctional Service deployed to the Solomon Islands to assist in the peace-keeping mission.

Commissioner Manning said members of the PNG contingent to the Solomon Islands have acted properly and within the confines of law.

Allegations were raised in the social media that PNG Defence Force personnel allegedly forced entry into a home and assaulted a man in the presence of his wife and daughter.

“First of all, the PNG Defence Force is not part of the PNG contingent deployed to the Solomon Islands. Secondly, at no time did any of member of the PNG contingent assault any member of the public in Honiara. I am aware of two separate incidents where two men were detained by members of the PNG contingent and taken to the Henderson Police Station in Honiara, Solomon Islands for questioning and charging,” Mr Manning said.

According to reports the Commissioner has received from head of the PNG contingent to the Solomon Islands, Assistant Commissioner Perou N’Dranou, one of the two suspects identified as John Natei, was accused of using offending and obscene language against members of the PNG contingent whilst the other, a pastor, named as Maxwell Filei, was accused of posting defamatory and false information about the PNG Contingent in the social media aimed at breaching the peace.

According to the report from Honiara, Natei used obscene language against members of the PNG contingent and accused them of bringing COVID-19 into the Solomon Islands. The pastor posted on Facebook that PNG Contingent members were indulging in liquor and womanising.

“I have been reassured by Assistant Commissioner N’Dranou that members of the PNG contingent have conducted themselves professionally at all times. The post by the pastor was not only defamatory but had the potential to breach what is already a fragile situation on the island,” Mr Manning said.

Both suspects were taken in on Monday 7 February for interview by the Royal Solomon Islands Police. Natei was apprehended for using insulting words and spreading false rumours whilst the pastor was apprehended for spreading defamatory and false information in the media with the intention to provoke the breach of peace. His Facebook wall attracted many negative, defamatory and abusive comments towards the PNG contingent in the Solomon Islands.

However, on Tuesday February 8 the pastor and a delegation from his church, the Kingdom Harvest Church, apologised to members of the PNG contingent. He presented a letter for reconciliation which was accepted and was facilitated by the Royal Solomon Islands Police.

Today Max, his family members and members of the Kingdom Harvest Church reconciled with the PNG contingent at the Henderson Police Station where food and cash were exchanged between both parties.

The first suspect, Natei, was arrested and charged by the RSIP Police. He is out on bail and will appear in court on 28 February.

“Both incidents are serious matters of concern that have attracted negative comments from the general public in the Solomon Islands, hence the course of action we have taken. I repeat again that I am pleased with the conduct of the contingent in the Solomon Islands. They have been good ambassadors for PNG and will continue to do so until they return to the country,” Mr Manning said.

Authorised for release by:

David Manning, MBE, DPS, OStJ, QPM

Commissioner of Police

*****

(Photographs of the reconciliation ceremony in Henderson, Honiara, Solomon Islands.)

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