By MALUM NALU
Morobe police commander Leo Lamei says the four remaining suspects in last Tuesday’s Black Cat Trail murders and attacks are basically “dead men walking” if they do not turn themselves in like their four colleagues did on Sunday.
He told The National yesterday there were now up to 74 police officers and villagers scouring the rugged terrain between Wau and Salamaua for the remaining four suspects, after four were arrested on Sunday, and there was little if no chance of them escaping or getting out alive if they did not turn themselves in.
Police – with their ‘Eye InThe Sky’ helicopter - have been searching the rugged terrain between Wau and Salamaua for the gang that killed two local porters and attacked eight expatriate trekkers along the Black Cat Trail last Tuesday.
A man suspected of harbouring the suspects was hacked to death by angry relatives of murdered porter, Mathew Gibob, of Skin Diwai village.
“I ask them to surrender to police, village leaders, or pastors,” Lamei said.
“If they do not surrender, the relatives of the dead and injured porters will attack them.
“I also appeal to the relatives not to take the law into their own hands.”
Lamei commended villagers from all along the Black Cat Trail from Wau to Salamaua for their support.
“I want to commend the villagers, the people of Salamaua, the people of Wau, and especially the villagers of Bitoi and Mubo,” he said.
“Without them, we would not have arrested the first four suspects.
“They are still supporting us.”
Lame said the hard work put in by police over the last week deserved the highest praise.
“I would like to praise my men for a job well done, especially in arresting the first four suspects in just a few days, when it could have taken weeks or months in such rugged terrain,” he said.