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Benta 10 Nov (2)
Crime Stoppers

Operation Benta – Further Arrests

Tuesday 10-Nov-2015 15:14

Northern Territory Police have made a further three arrests on Groote Eylandt following the deaths of two young men last Friday.

Commander Tony Fuller said "We are pleased with the progress of our investigations so far, and can confirm the arrest of three members of the group involved in the killing of the 19 year old male.

"We know who the main suspects are and it is only a matter of time before we catch up with them. We again urge them to come forward so that we can avoid putting the community through anymore trauma than it has already experienced.”

Commander Fuller said that one of the seven men arrested yesterday has been released pending further investigation. 

“All of the group that presented at Alyangula Police Station yesterday have been spoken to and are assisting Police establish the circumstances of this tragic event.  

“Currently nine persons are being held in Police custody.  Interviews have commenced and charges are expected to be laid later today.”

Commander Fuller said more than 30 statements have so far been taken from a number of witnesses and participants.

At the same time, more than 160 weapons have either been seized by Police or handed in by the community.  These include spears and woomeras (a plank like device used to propel the spears), a wide range of knives, swords and modified implements and tools.

Police continue to maintain a strong presence on the ground in the communities of Angurugu and Umbakumba.

 "Our patrols are focused on providing reassurance to the residents and to demonstrate that the carriage of weapons without lawful purpose will not be tolerated," said Divisional Superintendent Stephen Heyworth.

"We expect to be here for some time to come and we will do what we can to support families during this grieving period."

"Removing these weapons reduces the risk of harm in the communities and we are encouraging people to voluntarily hand them in. 

“Both the Umbakumba and Angurugu communities have been helpful to our Officers and we would like to acknowledge the cooperation and leadership shown by the Elders and Traditional Owners"