Drug smugglers busted in Daru

National, Normal

A SENIOR programme officer with NBC Daru was apprehended by members of the National Drug and Vice Squad (NDVS) last week for allegedly receiving 8kg of compressed marijuana via express mail.
The drugs are believed to have been posted from Goroka in Eastern Highlands province.
NDVS said the suspect was released on K500 bail.
The availability of a magistrate in Daru is being determined.
The drug squad said an accomplice of the suspect was also apprehended by police for his alleged role in picking up the package at the Daru post office.
The accomplice is also wanted by police for previous drug related crimes  last year and is being remanded at the Daru police station.
Meanwhile, the Boroko District Court yesterday sentenced three men to one year each in jail with hard labour for their alleged involvement in the supply of 2.8kg of drugs, identified by the NDVS as compressed marijuana leaves, on to the city street markets.
 The trio all pleaded guilty for being in possession of the drugs.
They were picked up by police after a tip-off last Friday afternoon.
The drugs are believed to have been flown into Port Moresby from Goroka.
The three men are Telex Ieya, 36, of Katia village in Eastern Highlands province, Henry Esa, 24, of Gupi in Rigo Central province and Chris Akoi, 34, of Gite in Garaina, Morobe province
Meanwhile, NDVS director Joel Kapinias said there was a growing concern that abuse of the illegal substances, in particular marijuana, among young people was widespread throughout the city.
 He called on authorities with the National Narcotics Bureau to intervene through awareness education in schools and communities to help minimise the problem.
Mr Kapinias said the marijuana trade was thriving.
 He called for the Government to impose tougher penalties and said the the current penalties were hardly deterring the cultivation and trade of the illegal substance.