Police Suspect Bogia, PNG Becoming ‘Contraband Trading Center’

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Illegal weapons, ammunition possibly coming through Madang

By Rosalyn Albaniel

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 3, 2016) – Bogia district in Madang, is set to come under closer police scrutiny because they believe it is being used as an entry point and trading centre for contraband, including guns.

This followed the arrest of two betelnut vendors who were arrested with 41 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition on Monday at the quarantine check point at Tapo, just outside Madang.

Police say these are used for high-powered guns which may have evaded police scrunity.

One suspect, a student in Goroka, told his police interrogators that a gun was concealed in the bags of betelnut which were on the bus bound for the Highlands.

Madang provincial police Superintendent Jacob Singura said police believed that the ammunition confiscated from the vendors had been sourced from Bogia.

"I am aware and from reports not just from citizens but authorities that this place is a haven for trafficking of drugs and guns, some of which we believe are coming in from the border across to West Sepik, East Sepik and into Madang.

"Bogia is one area in Madang where we will need to step up on our checks and surveillance.

"PNG Customs have in the past conducted operations in this area and we will be looking at working with them in the coming months.

"The use of guns remains a serious concern for police. By stepping up on our checks and surveillance will be able to clamp down on the number being shipped out into the other provinces and in turn save lives," he said. Supt Singura said he will be visiting to Bogia and the other rural stations also in the coming months in order to get a better appreciation of the challenges in this area.

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