Highways main route for marijuana smuggling

National, Normal


THE past 12 months have seen a slight drop in the amount of marijuana confiscated by the National Drug and Vice- Squad.
From a total of 180kg last year, this year’s raids have yielded 140kg of the drug from all the entry ports into the nation’s capital city.
Detective Chief Insp Joel Kapinias said last Friday that through information obtained and surveillance watches, his team was able to confiscate marijuana bound for Port Moresby through roads, highways, airports and seaports, where they are usually smuggled in with luggage and other food packages.
The main routes are from the highways around Port Moresby, the Highlands and the Islands region.
He said that by working with the courts, they have managed to send offenders to Bomana for maximum jail sentences of two years.
Det Chief Insp Kapinias said that although other drugs were known to be in the country, they were not as widespread as marijuana.
Some of the 140kgs comes from raids in other parts of the country.
He said that this was because marijuana was easy to grow and cultivate due to the favourable climate and soil conditions in the country.
He said this made it difficult for his team to effectively stamp out the use and abuse of the drug but made it clear that they would keep on doing their job.
Marijuana has psychoactive properties intended for medical, spiritual or recreational use.
The abuse of this plant led to its current illegal status globally.
Possession and use of this illegal product is a punishable offence, which in PNG carries a maximum jail sentence of two years.
With the Christmas festivities around the corner, the drug and vice-squad has been on full alert to apprehend anyone believed to be dealing drugs.
Last Friday was the appointed day by the Drug and Vice-Squad, Censorship Office, NAQIA and Customs to meet and burn all the confiscated illicit and counterfeit products that were seized during this year of operations.