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Gunpoint horror in PNG

Old 29th Nov 2007, 07:22
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Gunpoint horror in PNG

A GROUP of millionaire businessmen have fled to Cairns on an emergency private jet flight from Papua New Guinea after police and military accused them of being terrorists who planned to assassinate visiting UK royal Prince Richard.
In an exclusive interview with The Cairns Post just hours after landing yesterday, pilot Jorn Heilberg said the group was stopped at gunpoint at a road block in northern PNG and held under machine-gun guard for more than 24 hours.
The group of six had previously been met by armed police and soldiers as their jet landed in PNG but were released after more than three hours of questioning.
Their second ordeal started on Monday afternoon when they were then stopped at a road block in Wewak on the northern coast of PNG.
"We were on our way back from visiting a war memorial when we approached a road block with one truck full of military soldiers and another full of police," Mr Heilberg said.
"They were very aggressive, they confiscated our passports and electronic equipment and took us to our hotel, where they searched us and our rooms."
Mr Heilberg said their small hotel was surrounded by up to 15 soldiers wielding machine guns as officers searched their belongings.
The group’s passports, cameras and laptops were confiscated.
"Then they took us to the police station and questioned us individually," he said.
"One of the officers said to me, ‘I’m going to take you in my car so you can show me where the bomb is’.
"They were paranoid and accused us of planting a bomb to kill the Duke of Gloucester.
"They took our phones because one of the officers said that mobiles are the best way to trigger a bomb."
Mr Heilberg said officers accused the group of being "state sponsored terrorists and mercenaries" who were in PNG to assassinate the Duke of Gloucester Prince Richard, the Queen’s first cousin.
Prince Richard is on a five-day visit to the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of St John Ambulance in PNG and meet government officials.
"Eventually, when they decided not to lock us up, they got rid of us instead," Mr Heilberg said.
On Tuesday afternoon, another member of the group was escorted under armed guard to a bank to withdraw money to pay for their plane’s fuel.
PNG police told the group the Australian High Commission fast tracked a flight plan so they could immediately leave the country and land at Cairns International Airport.
The group of IT entrepreneurs and investors from across Europe were resting at the Cairns International Hotel yesterday.
They will fly to Sydney today as part their round-the-world adventure holiday in a single-engine Pilatus PC-12.
Ohhhhh Please!!!!!!!
markben is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2007, 09:56
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Will they be investing in PNG then?
Capt Fathom is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2007, 11:42
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Well I guess it wouldn't do to say that they'd been to PNG and found the place boring...
OzExpat is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2007, 11:58
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Brings new meaning to "Expect the Unexpected!"
markben is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2007, 12:31
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Not the only ones who didn't find it boring this week
giddy up is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2007, 22:23
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Hey Giddy Up not quite this week...........
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Old 29th Nov 2007, 23:19
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Who is Prince Richard?

Oh, I see: This guy. Love the medals.

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Old 1st Dec 2007, 02:29
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The PNGDF security team (what ??) must have been tearing their hair out trying to protect a bloke who likes to wander around wearing big white crosses. No wonder they roughed up the IT guys.

Yeah Crosshair... the first set of gongs ever worn on the front of a Batman cape !
The Wawa Zone is offline  

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