18 Apr 2005

Paid informers only way out of firearms crime, says PNG provincial administrator

7:24 pm on 18 April 2005

The Western Highlands government in Papua New Guinea describes paid informers to negotiate gun surrenders as the 'only way out' of firearms crime.

The former prime minister and provincial governor, Sir Paias Wingti, has pledged his support for the current campaign against guns and called for tougher laws relevant to PNG.

The province's administrator, Michael Wandil, says it's a good idea to pay informers - who'd then cut deals with gun owners.

But Mr Wandil looks to the national government to provide the money.

"Provincial government? We would, we would not have any funds at all, even to make any attempt or even to plan on this kind of an exercise. We are expecting that this is a initiative, that once the laws and policies are in place, we expect that the national government would be responsible for this kind of funding."

Mr Wandil says paying tribes to hand over their guns is complicated by the value placed on guns for providing security.