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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 30, 1998 - Post-Courier)---Port Moresby police chief John Wakon has called for a Commission of Inquiry into the operations of the Immigration Division of the Foreign Affairs Department.

Mr. Wakon said the inquiry should look into the many discrepancies in management and irregularities going on in there.

He claimed people were earning money "under the table'' by doing favors for foreigners.

Mr. Wakon claims many serious issues concerning illegal immigrants still remain unsolved.

He cited the case of a Somalian, Ali Nazir Damar, who was locked up at the Boroko police cells by Jackson's Airport chief immigration officer Kevin Artango for one year without being charged. The police had to release him. He said the Somalian was apprehended after illegally entering the country and was locked up without proper charges.

He said Mr. Artango was advised by police officers to do something or else the person would be "allowed to go free."

Mr. Artango had then opted for an arrangement to allow the police to release the Somalian but report to the Police Station occasionally.

He said this is one of the cases that immigration has failed to address with efficiency.

Mr. Artango could not be contacted for comment.

Mr. Wakon claimed there are many instances where Foreign Affairs officials received money under the table for doing favors and these should be investigated.

"And the police would want the Government to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the Immigration Division to sort out and address all these issues,'' he said.

"The inquiry should be able to find out whether the department is carrying out its functions efficiently and promptly in dealing with these international matters . . . and a strategy established to clean up the whole place and make the Immigration Division more transparent.''

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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