16 Oct 2008

PNG Foreign Affairs unaware of network between officials and people smugglers

4:30 pm on 16 October 2008

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Affairs Ministry says it's not aware of any organised syndicate among officials to allow illegal immigrants into the country.

This follows claims by PNG's National Intelligence Organisation that the country has become a loading bay for illegal immigrants trying to enter Australia.

The Organisation, which is calling for more Government funding and political support, says extensive networks exist between government officials and people traffickers.

However the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Gabriel Pepson, says the government is unaware of such networks.

"We don't see it as an organised systematic problem. But those things do happen from time to time. And where we are aware of things like that then appropriate actions normally are taken, whether people get deported or even if it means taking disciplinary action against some of the government officers concerned where we find there's evidence."

Gabriel Pepson