Magistrate promises to get tougher on drug crimes


PENALTIES given by the courts for possession of dangerous drugs and weapons are not severe enough to deter offenders, a senior magistrate said yesterday.
Lae magistrate Pious Tapil said offenders felt that jail time given for such offences was not harsh enough to be a deterrent.
“We have given months for those offenders in past incidents, but we will be getting tougher on the issue now and impose maximum penalties,” Tapil said.
“If it means that we send those offenders to prison between one and half years to two years on drug-related offences, we will do so.”
Tapil said the lighter penalties the courts have been imposing seem to have no impact on  offenders “so we must go tough to drive them the message”.
Tapil’s message came while he was sentencing 22-year-old Lucas Mumon, from Hatnon Village in Kabwum, to a year and three months jail for possession of  marijuana.
The court was told that Mumon was picked up at Bumayong field on Aug 25 by a police patrol.
Tapil said Bumayong was becoming a hotspot for lawlessness after a major break and enter at  Bumayong Secondary School over a week ago.

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