12 Jun 2007

Illegal gold trade out of Bougainville

3:55 am on 12 June 2007

More than 500 kilograms of gold has reportedly been smuggled out of the Autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the responsible authorities in Bougainville claim they cannot do anything about it because the mining powers are still vested in the PNG Government.

Prominent Bougainville leaders are allegedly involved in the gold smuggling.

Gold is reportedly being taken out through air and sea services, including through Gizo in neighbouring Solomon Islands.

Bougainville police said they had not received any formal reports or complaints about the alleged smuggling but confirmed such activity was being carried out.