Detectives in Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong have secured stolen PNG passports after the alleged thieves failed to pay bank safe rental fees.
The PNG police crime director Raphael Huafolo says Hong Kong detectives have returned 500 blank PNG passports worth tens of thousands of dollars, believed to have been stolen in a break-in at the Port Moresby Immigration office in 2003.
The passports were found in a Hong Kong bank safe after whoever used the safe failed to pay the rent.
The PNG newspaper, The National, says police were notified and they then brought the documents to the PNG honorary consul general's office.
Mr Huafolo says the passports would have fetched a very high price on the streets of Hong Kong from Chinese seeking entry into PNG.
He says there was a range of passports, from normal ones to those for diplomats and government officials.