Dawn raid nets 600kg nuts

National, Normal

The National, Friday March 7th, 2014

 By Mortimer Yangharry

POLICE in Waigani, Port Moresby, carried out a dawn “anti-betel nut patrol” yesterday and intercepted a vehicle carrying 12 50-kilogramme bags of nuts into the city from Porebada Village, Central.

Waigani police station commander Bruce Amos said his officers undertook the dawn operation on the Baruni-Gerehu back road linking coastal Motuan villages to the city. The road is known for betel nuts smuggling from Central.

“We started this operation to get rid of betel nuts in and around the city as directed by the NCD Supt of operations Chief Insp Perou N’Dranou last Thursday,” Sen Sgt Amos said.

“The National Capital District Commission allocated a vehicle each to all the suburban police stations in the city and my policemen used this unmarked vehicle allocated for Waigani Police Station to crackdown on the illegal smuggling.”

Undercover unit team leader, Sgt Jack Wesil said they started the operation at 4am. “We intercepted a vehicle loading bags of betel nuts at Porebada village and couldn’t do anything because the betel nut ban only applies to the National Capital District. We had to follow the vehicle to see where it was trying to go,” he said.

“As soon as the vehicle entered the National Capital District, we gave chase and stopped it at Baruni. In the boot were 12 (50kg) bags of betel nuts.

“We confiscated the vehicle and the nuts and drove the car to the Waigani Police Station. The suspects were arrested and charged and the vehicle impounded.”

Wesil said the two suspects were detained at the Waigani police cell.