By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
POLICE have warned people involved in luring young girls into prostitution to stop as such illegal activities are being monitored around the country.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Donald Yamasombi told The National police were targeting foreign-owned nightclubs.
“We already have reports of illicit activities taking place in nightclubs which employ young girls as prostitutes under the guise of employing them for genuine jobs,” he said.
He recently issued a notice to be distributed to all foreign-owned nightclub owners warning them to stop exploiting young unemployed girls.
“Such illicit activities are not allowed in this country,” he said.
“It is against PNG laws to conduct such activities.”
He said the activities were not confined to only metropolitan centres such as Port Moresby because they had been detected too in other town and cities.
“We have reports that these foreign-owned nightclubs are operating as brothels,” he said.
“There is also illegal gambling and use of hard drugs.”
Prostitution is illegal in the country, although there have been moves to have it legalised.
In October 2016, a Private Member’s Bill was introduced to Parliament by then Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather to instigate legalisation.
It received a lot of opposition including from then Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Oro Governor Gary Juffa.
The “oldest profession” is reported to being practised in some mining and logging areas but police presence there is minimal.
Yamasombi said what they would concentrate on was the illegal activities in the urban centres.
“There have been numerous complaints about such illicit activities taking place in nightclubs like pole-dancing and cage-dancing, semi-naked striptease shows, gay nights and so on,” he said.
“We will soon arrest these club owners.”
He said running parallel with such prostitution operations were drug rackets also operated by foreigners.
The concern is about the exploitation of young local girls who may be looking for money.
“I am now warning these nightclubs to stop enticing young girls to use them as prostitutes in your nightclubs to promote your businesses. Such illicit activities are done in nightclubs overseas, not in PNG.”
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK