POLICE in Vanimo have arrested and charged an African with illegally entering the country on Monday.
Provincial police commander Chief Insp Sakawar Kasieng said the man came in through the border post where police and customs officials apprehended him when he could not produce a valid visa.
He said they were surprised to find out during interrogation that the man had been travelling from Africa as a tourist through several countries without his passport being stamped.
The man, who was identified by police as Daniel Smith, last stayed briefly in Jayapura before crossing over to Vanimo early this week.
Chief Insp Kasieng said the accused was in police custody, and was expected to appear before the Vanimo District Court for mention this morning.
Meanwhile, police in Vanimo are keeping a close watch on Africans coming into the country through the PNG-Indonesian border amid suspicion that they might be an African syndicate involved.
Chief Insp Kasieng said police in Vanimo had arrested and charged a number of illegal migrants from African and Arab nations since last year, most of whom had secured permanent residency in the country after the courts failed to deport or impose hefty fines on them.
He cited the case of three Nigerians who came into the country without proper documents in 2007 but were released by the court because there was no interpreter to translate the Hebrew language.
According to reliable sources, Insp Kasieng said the three men were now living in Lae.
He said because of the precedence set, others were coming in knowing that they could easily get away and seek permanent residence here.