SIX PNG SOLDIERS HELD IN GUN SMUGGLING

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Mar. 31) - Six Papua New Guinea soldiers and two civilians have been arrested and remanded at the Bomana prison after allegedly being involved in smuggling ammunition to the Highlands region in January.

The police criminal investigating team in Port Moresby has so far arrested six soldiers this month and two Southern Highlands men in February for trying to smuggle 908 rounds of ammunition and six high-powered guns to Southern Highlands Province.

The incident occurred when cargo handlers at the Jackson’s domestic terminal discovered more than 900 rounds of ammunition and Self-Loading Rifles (SLR) from boxes stolen from Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s Murray Barracks armoury on January 22. 

The guns and ammunition were believed to have been bound for the Southern Highlands. 

Police were informed and later confiscated the weapons at the airport.

NCD/Central commander Tony Wagambie said yesterday investigations conducted by police and the PNGDF military was handled well and was progressing smoothly.

Mr Wagambie said: "Although arrests are being made questioning is still continuing and at the moment the soldiers and civilians involved are at the Bomana prison outside Port Moresby."

He said one of the civilians had been released on bail of K5,000 while the others remained in the Correctional Service’s custody.

Investigation were still being conducted and some people were yet to be interviewed and more arrests were expected to be made soon, he said. 

Meanwhile, security has been stepped up at Jackson’s Airport following a breach of security when a man had taken a pistol on board an aircraft. 

The man has since been arrested and has appeared in court.

March 31, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

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