PNG Customs Seizes 280 Semi-Automatic Weapons Intended For Police Use

Shipment not properly declared; guns to be distributed to Defence Force, police

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 13, 2016) – Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, pictured, says a shipment of police firearms sent from South Korea to Port Moresby was impounded in Lae by Customs because they were not properly declared.

Lupari, the National Security Advisory Council chairman, was commenting yesterday on the 280 semi-automatic guns seized by Customs in Lae and locked up at the Defence Force’s Igam Barracks.

“Those were ordered by police through the private sector,” Lupari told The National.

“There’s a company that’s in the business of exports and imports that was sourced to supply those firearms.

“It was impounded by Customs.

“Customs has undertaken an extensive investigation into it, and based on that, they’ve provided a report to National Security Advisory Council.

“We’ve discussed it and we’ve found that the order was made by police.

“And because there was no declaration, Customs had to impound them.”

Lupari said the council dad given its approval to the police and army to use the firearms, based on the report submitted by Customs.

“That has been sorted out and it has been approved for police and army to utilise those firearms,” he said.

“The Defence Force is, for the time being, taking care of the firearms at Igam Barracks.

“It’s now for the (PNGDF) commander and the (police) commissioner to put an arrangement in place as to how these firearms are going to be utilised between the two forces.”

Asked about the Customs report, Lupari said: “Because there was no documentation, they (Customs) thought that it was firearms brought by private individuals.

“They went through all the documentation and carried out investigations, and found out that it was an order by police.”

The National
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