By PISAI GUMAR
MOROBE police commander Augustine Wampe is concerned about travellers failing to report piracy promptly to police.
Wampe raised this concern last week following a raid on a vessel carrying store goods, fuel and building materials from Labuta in Nawaeb district to Wasu in Tewae-Siassi.
He said he was yet to get a formal report on the incident for his men to investigate. He was told that pirates attacked a tug boat owned by South Sea Lines Ltd, the mv Kwila I, and stole goods on its pontoon.
Wasu store owner Sipai Bomario said he was concerned that it was the second attack on a South Sea Lines vessel and urged the company to use an appropriate vessel to serve clients.
He said the tug boat was about 100metres away from the pontoon, a distance meant for efficient manoeuvring. But that allowed pirates to climb on board and steal the goods at night.
He queried whether it was appropriate, under the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) laws to use tugboats and pontoons to ferry goods.
Meanwhile, NMSA senior ship inspector Danny Fezamo said pontoons were allowed to carry dry goods but they should be packed in containers to prevent damage.
“Pontoons can also carry passengers under certification by NMSA, providing that there are accommodations on them to cater for human needs,” Fezamo said.
Mange Bosope, a business woman in Kabwum, said apart from 50 cartons of beer, the pirates stole clothes, shoes, belts and caps and left their dirty clothes behind.
By PISAI GUMAR