Police had warned of attacks by locals
THE government intelligence community had been warned of imminent sabotage of the PNG LNG project construction phase but had failed to take action, The National reports.
Provincial police commanders of Western and Gulf told The National they had provided the information to the project developer, Esso Highlands Ltd (EHL), last month.
They made their revelations on Tuesday when confirming an attack by Gulf’s Kikori villagers on construction workers and torching of trucks and heavy machineries at the Kaiam ferry site last Friday.
Police had also warned of heavy build-up of arms in the Western-Gulf-Southern Highlands areas in the lead-up to the 2012 national general elections which could put the gas pipeline at risk.
The national government has not commented on the claims while EHL said its security programme was designed to protect its workforce and the adjacent communities.
As the developer takes stock of last Friday’s damage and assess its security, police said that a mobile squad from Gobe had been deployed to Kaim to boost security and ensure there was no further trouble.
They also said that they had made a breakthrough in their investigations into the attack by identifying a prime suspect and his cohorts whom they hope to arrest soon.
Police who initially went to the site had discovered spent shells and threatening notes by the suspects.
They said there had been a lot of discontent among Kikori villagers over job opportunities and spin-offs to local companies.
The attack on CCJV at Kaiam base camp was evident of this discontent, police said.