OFFICERS of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force have arrested a 36 year-old male on 4 March 2019 in relation to the armed robbery at Ontong Java, Malaita Outer Islands (MOU) on 8 January 2019.
Assistant Commissioner (AC) Crime and Intelligence, Ian Vaevaso says, “It is alleged that on 8 January 2019, the victim, an Asian businessman who was buying beche-de-mer on Ontong Java in the Malaita Outer Islands was confronted by the suspect who arrived with six other people on board a ray boat powered by a Yamaha 40 hp engine.”
“The suspect demanded a cash payment of $500,000.00 from the victim but he refused and then the suspect made another demand of $400,000.00 but the victim also refused to pay the money.”
“It is further alleged that during the course of the argument a Bougainvillean who was accompanying the suspect, threatened the victim with a gun and the suspect demanded $300,000.00 from the victim. The victim finally gave in and handed over the cash,” AC Vaevaso explains.
“The suspect then left Luaniua with his group of men with the cash. The group consisting of two Bougainvilleans and three men from Tasman left by travelling in the direction of Pelau and then onto Tasman Islands, Papua New Guinea Guinea,” says AC Vaevaso.
Police officers from Honiara and Auki travelled to Luaniua village and obtained statements from the victim and other witnesses.
The suspect was arrested and brought to Honiara on 4 March. He appeared in the Central Honiara Magistrates Court on 5 March and charged for robbery contrary to section 293 (1) (a) of the Penal Code. He has been remanded in custody for 14 days and will appear in Court on 19 March 2019.
“I would like to thank the community and chiefs on Ontong Java for working alongside RSIPF. I also like to thank my officers both in Malaita and Honiara for the hard work and dedication leading up to the first arrest,” says AC Vaevaso.
He adds: “Investigation into this matter is continuing and I urge the people of Ontong Java to continue to work with us.”