BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
POLICE and Customs officials have seized high-powered weapons and ammunition from expatriate businessmen during raids on several Highlands centres last week.
Police said some Asian nationals operating businesses in the Highlands were illegally keeping the high-powered firearms.
Police and Customs officials have launched an operation to recover these firearms and also prosecute those who might have entered the country illegally.
In the joint operation codenamed High Altitude, PNG Customs officials and the Police Transnational Crime Unit uncovered several high-powered weapons and ammunition held by foreigners, believed to be Chinese nationals.
The joint operation was the first of its kind in the Highlands, and the primary aim was to seize contraband cigarettes and detain illegal immigrants.
As part of the operation, raids were carried out in the early hours of Oct 29 in Minj, Banz and Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands province and in Porgera, Enga, on Oct 30.
In Mt Hagen, a police issue MP5 riffle, with two magazines fully loaded, two pump action shotguns and many rounds of ammunition were confiscated.
In Porgera, a shotgun, pistol, more ammunition and an electric shocker were seized.
“In Banz, when the joint team entered their premises, a Chinese national surrendered a military issue SLR rifle and the Chinese store operator handed over an unlicenced Browning side arm (.22 pistol) with its rounds,” Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa said.