Overdue bills affect PNG customs service

9:55 pm on 16 January 2018

Papua New Guinea's Customs Service has stopped its operations in the southern region after being locked out of its offices for not paying bills.

The Post Courier reports the service's office was locked by the landlord because two years worth of utility bills worth 1.2 million US dollars hadn't been paid.

The landlord then changed the locks to prevent customs officers from accessing their workplace.

The closure has affected customers who must pay duty to access their imported goods.

PNG Customs Commissioner Ray Paul said operations in other parts of the country had not been affected and expected the issue to be sorted out soon.

The Chief Secretary to Government Isaac Lupari said the government was paying its dues but had had issues with landlords locking offices.

He said 75 buildings are rented throughout the country costing the government more than US$77 million a year.

He said a meeting is being held to review all the market rates, rentals and government rental issues.

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