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10 arrested for burning excavators, $6m value of items removed from logging camp

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Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Taro and Police Response Team (PRT) have arrested 10 suspects for burning down three excavators in relation to a land dispute at Pangoe in East Choiseul early this month.

RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said the investigation has stated that the motive behind the arson incident was related to land issue which is currently logged in east Pangoe.

Mangau said it is a long standing civil issue between parties involved and since it now involves burning it has become a police matter.

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He said the disputing party sent three men on 3 March 2023 to the disputed area to set fire on company excavators but were unsuccessful.

Mangau said a few days later on 7 March 2023 more than 50 men approached the company’s security guards with and started attacking the securities using bows and arrows, timbers and iron rods that seriously injured four guards.

He said as the securities escaped, the group of men burnt down three excavators, a welding generator, looted the security tent and stole valuable properties estimated around six million Solomon Island dollars

The company security officers were transported to Taro hospital for further medical attention after the incident and now are now in stable condition.

Investigation into the burning incident is continuing and currently the 10 alleged suspects are remanded at Gizo Correctional Centre while other suspects are yet to be arrested.

Police appeals to those suspects who are still at large to surrender themselves. Or parents and relatives of suspects at Pangoe to report their whereabouts to Taro police on phone 63199.


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