Police have charged a man responsible for horrifically murdering four people and attempting to murder 15 others in a roadside ambush that occurred at Dereni in east Guadalcanal in September 2002.The operation that involved Detectives from the Serious Crime Squad, officers from the National Intelligence Unit and Police in Taro culminated in the arrest of a 28-year-old man on 15 July 2008 at Pollo Village in Choiseul Province.
The unprovoked ambush occurred on 3 September 2002 at Dereni in east Guadalcanal.
A vehicle that was transporting approximately 25 people that included a number of women and children to Ngorou Clinic was set upon by people armed with rifles and a sawn off shotgun.
Police will allege that the 28-year-old man fired at the vehicle and killed a five-year-old boy, two 12-year-old boys and an adult female. Fifteen other people were also seriously wounded in the attack.
A man that sustained a gun shot wound to the stomach during the attack feigned death and was thrown from the vehicle with the deceased. He was able to provide valuable information to police regarding the identity of the alleged murderer.
Detectives from the Serious Crime Squad based at Police Headquarters in Honiara travelled to Taro after information was received the main suspect was living in the area.
A plan was formulated between Taro Police and the Detectives from Honiara to approach Pollo Village to determine whether the suspect was in fact residing there.
Police conducted surveillance on the Village and positively identified the man believed to responsible for the four murders and 15 attempted murders.
On Tuesday 15 July 2008, a team of police travelled to Pollo Village. When the 28- year-old suspect saw police he fled on foot. Police pursued the man and he was apprehended after a short chase.
He was arrested and transported to Taro Police Station where he was charged with one count of murder.
On 17 July 2008, the 28- year-old was conveyed to Central Police Station in Honiara by Detectives from the Serious Crime Squad. He was interviewed again on 18 July 2008 and was charged with three additional counts of murder and 15 counts of attempted murder.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Crime and Intelligence, Chief Superintendent Peter Aoraunisaka, said locating the people responsible for the murders has been a long running priority for the Serious Crime Squad.
"The investigation began in 2002 and I am very pleased that many hours of hard work by Police resulted in a man being charged for the crimes.
"The Detectives from the Serious Crime Squad have done an outstanding job on this investigation. I would like to thank Taro Police for their valuable assistance in helping to arrest the suspect. This positive result demonstrates the commitment the police have in solving vicious crimes," he said.
Police are still actively investigating the ambush and are looking for other suspects.
"Police believe there were other people involved in the ambush and urge anyone in the community that has information about this attack to make contact with their nearest Police Post or the Serious Crime Squad at Police Headquarters."
The 28-year-old man was remanded in custody and is expected to appear in the Honiara Magistrates Court on 1 August 2008.