ALLEGATIONS OF A LUCRATIVE TRADE IN PNG DEFENSE FORCE WEAPONS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 2, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A leaked Papua New Guinea Police report says there is a lucrative trade in Defense Force weapons being sold illegally to criminals.

The report says high-powered weapons reported missing from Defense Force armories are being deliberately misappropriated and sold on the black market.

Weapons listed as missing or stolen over the past eight years include land mines, machine guns, grenade launchers, rifles and pistols.

The police report says it is easier and cheaper for criminals to buy these stolen weapons than to smuggle in weapons from overseas.

The PNG Defense Force has not commented on the report, but police claim the Defense Force is aware of the extent of the problem.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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