PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Jan. 9) – Papua New Guinea's immigration and policing system at Jacksons International Airport is a joke.

We would not be making such a big fuss about it if the situation was not so serious. The whole security of this country is in doubt and made to look so foolish when illegal aliens can just walk in and then disappear without trace. Let's be frank about it. This country is moving closer and closer to a major disaster — maybe a terrorist attack – in the near future with the kind of slackness that is being displayed at Jacksons Airport.

This is disgraceful!

There seems to be a total breakdown in the system of checks and controls at the airport. Illegal foreigners are being allowed into country and then beat its law enforcement system by escaping from custody. Escaping from custody? Yes, because some of the people who are supposed to be keeping them locked up are allowing them to go free.

We are not ashamed to say that we need Australian officers to run our immigration system at Jacksons Airport. We need Australian customs, immigration and police officers to take over the whole set-up at the airport. Run it and ensure that illegal immigrants are locked up and prosecuted for violating the laws of this country. We are fed up with the slack, inefficient Papua New Guinean officers. There is no other way to describe them. How can people who enter this country illegally continue to escape from custody? This is just not on.

The only answer to this problem is to get the Australians who are due here this year to take full control of our ports of entry. They will do a better job.

The unprofessional conduct of our own officers has got to a point where a blanket ban on travellers from China has now cost PNG millions of kina in foreign investment from that country. Just when our Government is inviting foreign investors to come here, its own officers are refusing them entry. This is stupidity at its best.

January 9, 2004

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