By DAPHNE WANI
HUMAN smuggling or trafficking is a new trend occurring in the country and it’s an international issue as well, senior magistrate Cosmas Bidar said yesterday.
He made the comment after committing a man to trial at the Waigani National Court for allegedly smuggling or trafficking 10 girls and two boys from Central to Chimbu on July 30 last year.
“This is a classic case of human smuggling to make money by way of cheap labour or sexual exploitation,” Bidar said.
He said Papua New Guinea had an International Organisation of Migration office in Port Moresby that dealt with human trafficking issues.
Willie Gare, from Korokoa village in Gumine, Chimbu, is charged with human trafficking, rape and deprivation of liberty.
Bidar said Gare’s charge of trafficking was one of the first cases in PNG under the recently amended Criminal Code Act 2013.
The court returned yesterday for Gare to present his written statement to his lawyer after he was committed for a trial in the national court on Sept 1.
However, his lawyer from the Office of the Public Solicitor advised the court that Gare wished to remain silent until he appeared in the national court.
The court revoked an arrest warrant issued for his arrest after he had failed to appear on Sept 29.
His lawyer told the court that Gare was suffering from hyper tension and was unavailable.
Bidar committed Gare to face trial in Waigani on Oct 24 since most of the State witnesses were in the National Capital District.
Police allege that on July 30, last year, that 10 girls and two boys from Lealea and Boera villages in Central were recruited by Gare to perform the hula-hula dance at the opening ceremony of his guest house in Chimbu.
Gare allegedly told the parents of the group that he would be keeping them for two weeks in Chimbu.
After the opening, Gare allegedly used the girls to lure customers in and threatened them with a pistol when they refused.
It was alleged that Gare also raped one of the girls.
Following complaints to police from the relatives and parents of the victims, the group was rescued from Chimbu and arrived in Port Moresby on Nov 9, last year.
By DAPHNE WANI