Gulf Police and criminal elements had a confrontation with exchange of gunshots when police suspected smuggling of illegal arms and drugs in Kikori recently.
Gulf Provincial Police Commander Silva Sika said the incident last week Tuesday when gun shots were exchanged between police and heavily armed criminals but no injuries were sustained by both parties in the cross fire.
PPC Sika said police suspect a 6 men gang were involved and are still in Kikori hiding.
He said 16 police officers from Kerema have been sent with support from local district police are now carrying out investigations on the incident.
He also said police presence will be boosted at the Purari log site as landowner payments draws near.
Sika said with the recent confrontation with criminals, it is likely that more illegal activities by criminals elements will transpire during the payout.
He said police will be out in full force as they monitor the area in the coming weeks.