10 May 2012

More police reports of gun smuggling in Papua New Guinea

7:17 pm on 10 May 2012

Police in Papua New Guinea's West Sepik province say there is a gun-smuggling syndicate operating between the Highlands region and neighbouring Indonesia.

The Post Courier reports that the syndicate is bringing high-powered firearms into the country, which is a concern to police ahead of next month's general elections.

West Sepik's Police Commander Tilae Michael says the syndicate has bases in Vanimo, Wewak and Mt Hagen in the Highlands where many of the guns end up.

He says police and the Defence Force are too under-resourced to properly investigate the syndicate or to stop gun smuggling and other cross-border contraband movement.

Inspector Michael called on the police hierarchy in Port Moresby to release the police boat to Vanimo so the water policing unit can patrol the sea at the border.

His comments echo concern voiced by West New Britain's Police Commander over reports of arms build-ups in that province.