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Papua New Guinea police ask for help capturing pirate – because their last patrol boat broke down six years ago

  • The country’s beleaguered police force has asked the public for help tracking down a ‘notorious’ prison escapee as they try to end a spate of offshore and onshore robberies
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 January, 2019, 3:34pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 January, 2019, 3:34pm

Papua New Guinea’s beleaguered police force asked the public for help tracking down a “notorious” pirate Thursday, as they tried to end a spate of offshore and onshore robberies.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki said officers in the east of the country were struggling to apprehend the chief suspect – a prison escapee and alleged pirate named Tommy Baker – because their last patrol boat broke down six years ago.

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Baker was said to have escaped from Port Moresby General Hospital last October while receiving medical treatment.

Police said a mobile squad was being deployed to the town of Alotau to assist the local police fight a deadly crime spree.

The Post Courier newspaper reported that seven police houses were burned to the ground in the town and several policemen were wounded in a shoot-out with Baker’s gang.

A supermarket was also reportedly raided and an ATM stolen.

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“A lot of police work went into his initial capture but he simply walked out of prison so we have to now spend a lot of money to get him back in again,” Baki said in a statement.

He said sea piracy was on the rise in Alotau “due to the fact the police does not have the ability to deal with it … The only police boat in Alotau broke down six years ago.”