Who is William Kapris?

THE deceased prisoner, escapee and suspect William Nanua Kapris has risen from nothing to be a household name in PNG, whether it be for fear of him or the increasing interest he has generated in his criminal life that has elevated him to be very popular in the eyes of the general public. 

The media, politicians and even ordinary people on the street have been talking, writing and reading about this man but do we really know who he is? In 2008 when he and his accomplices started their robberies in various parts of the country, and kidnapping various key individuals and their families, there was widespread fear ­— especially in NCD.

Talk on the streets at that time was that it was the work of William Kapris.

When he was recaptured and put in an isolated cell at Bomana’s maximum lockup Attorney General and Minister for Justice at that time Dr Allan Marat and former Police Commissioner Peter Aigilo visited him in his cell.

William Kapris
If he can rouse the interest of such high profile visitors then he has roused the interest of everyone from elementary students to Ministers of State.

Who then is William Nanua Kapris? 

William according to research conducted by this paper is a converted Islam follower.
He was the son of a deceased man by the name Nanua who was originally from East Sepik Province but resided at Buvussi oil palm settlement in Hoskins as a block holder.

The old Nanua was among the first settlers to come to West New Britain in 1969 when the oil palm settlement scheme was introduced.

William was born in the West New Britain Province in 1980 according to relatives and friends, he attended Buvussi primary school from 1987 to 1992. He later attended Kimbe High School from 1993 to 1996.

William left his parents at Buvussi and stayed at Gigo settlement on the outskirts of Kimbe town when he was doing his high school at Kimbe as a day student.

According to some students who attended Kimbe High School with him the same year, he was said to be a shy fellow and often dressed up in a religious way so often his friends thought he was converted to a new religion.

He was said to be a bright student in his class often scoring good grades.

After completing grade 10 at Kimbe High School in 1996, he continued to stay at Gigo settlement with his step father Paul Kapis who married his mother when old Nanua died.

In 1996, he was converted to Islam and he and other friends were sent overseas to study Islamic doctrines.

On January 10, 1997 he was arrested and charged by Kimbe police for the shooting and wounding of a detective sergeant Michael Kerehu at the then Kimbe Palm Lodge. 

He was also charged for the pack rape of a young girl at Kimbe Primary School. 

He was sentenced to 20 years for attempted murder and five years for rape before escaping from Lakiemata prison on April 19, 2001.

On August 18, 2001 he was involved in the abduction of a couple at Dami Oil Palm Research Station in Hoskins when the couple were held captive until the next morning. Their vehicle was used by William and his men to hold up Titiro night club also in Hoskins where K3000 worth of alcohol was stolen.

Police apprehended him when his gang were attempting to hold up former West New Britain Governor Clement Nakmai and his delegate who were returning to Kimbe from an outstation trip.

William was charged on six counts of escape from lawful custody, attempted murder, robbery, unlawful depression of liberty, unlawful use of motor vehicle and second count of robbery.

He was serving his term at Lakiemata jail when he escaped again with four others namely Steven Tele, Steven Levo, Gabriel Monai and Philip Roy Rakui.

They were arrested in Lae by police but using a snake bail (substituting someone who committed a summary offence)he escaped to East Sepik Province.

In May 2008, he was alleged to have robbed the Kerema BSP branch and fled to Kimbe. Whilst in Kimbe he and his accomplices were said to have planned to rob the Kimbe BSP branch but he decided against it. 

In the same year in July the Madang BSP branch was robbed by a gang, alleged to have been led by Kapris.

He was eventually apprehended by Police in the Central Province along the Magi Highway in July 2008 and he was detained at the Bomana maximum security compound.

In 2010 he led 11 hardcore convicted prisoners out of the maximum facility with the aid of a woman posing as a lawyer.

He was recaptured a month later and was flown to Madang where he was found guilty for the robbery of the Madang's BSP bank and convicted to 30 years in prison.
According to a youth who knows William he said: 

“Once at Gigo market he confronted some youths who robbed a lone elderly lady. He got the money back from the youths gave them back to the old woman and told the youths not to steal from old woman who struggle to earn money but to steal from the rich people.’’

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