AN Australian man was taken hostage by armed men during a hold-up at a shop in Alotau, Milne Bay, on Monday, police say.
Acting provincial police commander George Bayagau said the Australian was managing-director of the business arm of Esa’ala district.
“The incident occurred on Monday at around 8am, when 10 criminals armed with high-powered and homemade guns entered the building,” he said.
Bayagau said they took valuable items, a substantial amount of money, as well as the hostage.
“The Australian was later released safely without any injuries,” he said.
Bayagau said the criminals used two dinghies to escape.
He said he was still waiting for a full brief on the incident.
Bayagau also warned business houses and shops to take precautions, given the increase in armed robberies.
He said criminals were using very high-powered guns.