Police warn betel nut vendors


CENTRAL police are calling on betel nut vendors in NCD to conduct their business in the city and not Central.
“We understand that you are providing services for the local people but you must also respect their rights and not block them from conducting their business in their own areas,” Central police commander Andrew Tovere said.
He was referring to an incident that occurred last weekend where a big fight broke out in Akevaira village in the Kairuku district between two ethnic groups from the Highlands over the sale of betel nut in that area.
“Vendors in the city are going up to Gulf, buying betel nut bags for lower prices and coming down to Akevaira market and selling them at a higher prices,” he said.
“That is the reason why the vendors from Tari got frustrated with the vendors from Hagen for blocking the locals from selling their products and started the fight.
“What I am seeing is that the people in Central have been invaded in their own land and are not given the chance to do their own businesses.”
He told The National that because of what was happening in Central the police would be conducting road blocks to check on PMVs taking illegal routes up the highways to look for betel nut or taking passengers to villages,” Tovere said.
“There are so many vehicles breaking traffic rules by accessing those highways for betel nut, and I have seen some picking passengers to villages.
“There is no respect at all for local PMV owners. That is why road blocks will be conducted.”

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