Illegal Foreign Nationals Allegedly Protected By PNG Politicians

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PM O’Neill says foreigners hiding behind false passports

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 22, 2013) – Politicians are protecting and involved with foreign nationals with double identities, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday.

The PM, who is also the Police Minister, said the police commissioner and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary top brass are aware of foreign nationals currently residing in the country with different passports and are allegedly involved with some MPs who are protecting them.

"There are some Indians and Pakistanis, some of them are involved with our leaders in the House, with passports that are from different countries and not their country of origin," he said.

As an example, the PM spoke of a Pakistani holding a Somali passport, a Lebanese with an Australian passport and an Indian in possession of a Pakistani passport – they all live under the protection of some local politicians.

"This kind of terrorist sort of behaviour where persons of country of origin are not holding onto passports where they are entitled to and holding passports of other countries is a case that needs a lot of explanation," Mr O’Neill said. "Our police units are starting to investigate that and they are writing to the leader concerned to bring these personnel that he is protecting to the police force so that they can be interviewed."

Mr O’Neil revealed this when answering questions from the Governor of Sandaun Amkat Mai in Parliament yesterday.

Sandaun province is ready to play host to Australian police under the current Australia-PNG policing arrangement to assist address transnational crime.

The Prime Minister said that in respect of trans-national crime, all the new waves of criminal activities are starting to arrive at PNG door steps and warranted the need for an increase in manpower, training and skills.

The Israel government has agreed to address that by opening its facilities to take 20 policemen and women to train in counterterrorism and transnational crime.

"As a result of my recent trip to Israel, the Israel government has already volunteered to take 20 policemen and women to train to address counter terrorism and transnational crime training program which they will fully fund and we are going to take advantage of that," he added.

The Government has agreed to send more police officers for training in the Jewish state after the Israel government-funded training ends.

The RPNGC is currently going through a modernisation program which includes the re-fleeting of its equipment and systems. "I know many of the police assets have been run down for quite some time and as a result our men and women are not able to perform their duties adequately so as a result of that in 2013 the government approved funding to the Police Department more than what they requested.

That funding increase has continued this year through the 2014 budget," added the PM.

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