Border-crossers in quarantine

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
FOUR suspected illegal border crossers are now in quarantine in Daru after crossing into Papua New Guinea from Indonesia on Tuesday evening, acting South Fly police commander Insp Soiwa Ricker says.
He said the four people included a PNG woman and three Indonesians who arrived in Daru on a boat at about 6pm from Merauke city in Papua, Indonesia, and were now in the custody of the Western health authority (WPHA).
Insp Ricker said the four would be held for the quarantine period of 14-days and then charged for illegally entering the country.
“We don’t know their reason for coming here. But the PNG woman is married to an Indonesian man and we don’t know if one of the men is her husband,” he said.
He said yesterday that the Indonesian media had reported two confirmed Covid-19 cases in Merauke and it was risky for people to come into Western from there.
“We are now carrying out awareness amongst the villagers not to entertain Indonesian poachers who are also illegally in South Fly to buy beche-de-mers and Jew fish mau (bladder).
“We advised the villages to send them away because Indonesia is a hotspot now for Covid-19.”
Insp Ricker also said the Covid -19 Task Force that included police, Immigration, Customs, WHPA and National Agriculture Quarantine Inspections Authority (Naqia) personnel was conducting awareness in Daru.
“We’ve closed down the betel nut markets and advised sellers to sell at their residences. And we have relocated the fish market next to the Century Hotel to the betel nut market,” he said.
“We are now removing all the villagers from the Fly River and telling them to return to their villages.
“They came to Daru since last month and put up makeshift shelters on their canoes at the water front.
“They are waiting to get their compensation payment from the Ok Tedi mine. But we checked with Bank South Pacific and found out that all the compensation payment had been made.

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