PNG Immigration Department Probing Alleged Harassment Of Asian At Airport

Arrival officials accused of mistreating, soliciting funds from visitors

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 8, 2016) – The Immigration Department is seriously addressing and trying to improve mistreatment and harassment of Asians on arrival at the Jacksons International airport, Immigration and Citizenship Director General Mataio Rabura has assured.

This follows increasing complaints from genuine Asian travelers into Papua New Guinea who are ill-treated on arrival by officials who also on many occasions solicit funds out of them without proper receipts issued.

Last week Thursday several multi-billion kina investors from Malaysia, Hong Kong and one from Australia who travelled to Port Moresby were illegally detained for more than three hours at Jacksons airport. They were on the midday flight from Brisbane Australia when they were detained there.

The Post-Courier spoke to three of the Asians (named) who were very frustrated because of a misconception and misunderstanding that caused them to be asked to pay fees at the airport without proper receipts issued.

This caused a commotion between airport operations staff until the lawyer for the businessmen from Sheppard Lawyers was called in to assist after which they were released.

"This is ridiculous and cannot happen. We are genuine businessmen and to be honest, the treatment received here is just deplorable," their spokesman said.

"How can we be treated this way and how can you attract tourists especially when the first direct flight from Port Moresby to Shanghai and Beijing will commence on October 12, and this treatment at airport would definitely scare them out of PNG," they said.

Mr Rabura confirmed the incident but advised they were still investigating and that there was some issues to sort out hence he has now instructed his officers to take full control of the operations.

He assured that the Immigration office was now seriously addressing these issues with relevant airport operating agencies.

"I’ve instructed my airport officers to take over the office out there. That’s a finance issue, the finance officers that collect the money. I’ve instructed my officers to take over at the airport but the finance officer insisted," he said.

"This is embarrassing for us and we have to stop this," he said. I’ve instructed Eftpos machines to be established there…it is the finance officers issuing receipts and collecting money on the side too. That’s why I’ve instructed my officers to take over the finance at the airport as this is giving us a bad impression. We are addressing the issue,"Mr Rabura said.

PNG Post-Courier
Copyright © 2016 PNG Post-Courier. All Rights Reserved

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