City workshop calls for more border patrol

National, Normal

THE government must address the illegal border crossing to outlaw people smuggling and trafficking.
This was highlighted at a workshop on the People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Bill in Port Moresby on Wednesday.
Deputy administrator for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Patrick Koles reiterated the concern while presenting ABG’s perspective on people smuggling and trafficking in persons.
Koles said the task of monitoring the sea between PNG and Solomon Islands was a concern as the Bougainville border control office was currently manned by only one coordinator with no support staff.
He said trading of firearms and drugs was an ongoing problem and there was need for funding to establish proper surveillance points along the border.
Executive officer for Sandaun provincial administration, Paul Nengai also called for increased border surveillance along the PNG-Indonesia border.
He said people with customary links travel between the two countries freely without any form of official pass and this could lead to people smuggling and trafficking .
Nengai highlighted that unmarked routes in the jungles are being used for contraband smuggling into the country.
A spokesman from the Fly River provincial government also spoke out on the prevalent firearm and drug smuggling taking place in the province between PNG citizens and overseas dealers.
With this draft bill,  the government will need to boost its border surveillance to arrest and charge offenders.