Landowners threaten to attack loggers

National, Normal

The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A LANDOWNERS group in the Tufi, Northern, is threatening to attack alleged illegal loggers.

Sabarar Land Group Incorporated deputy chairman Christian Maravis said on Monday that developer, Matufi Ltd from Malaysia, had moved into the area illegally and was about to do its first shipment to Malaysia, via Goodenough Island.

“An estimated 10 to 20 cubic metres of logs are to be smuggled out of Collingwood Bay.

“ The workers illegally entered Wanigela in June last year, not possessing any work permits and employment visas. The drivers have Malaysian driving licences,” said Maravis.

The landowners group is urging PNG’s government officers from customs, labour, forestry and other authorities concerned to address the issue immediately.

Maravis said a court petition had been filed regarding the matter.

He said the local people could not put up with corruption any longer as their complaints have not been acted upon since July of last year.

Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa, when contacted, said he was aware of such activities and was working hard with his team to remove illegal immigrants. 

Juffa said this was happening everywhere in PNG and landowners had the right to fight for their land.

Attempts to contact the Northern governor, provincial administrator and the PNG Forest Authority were unsuccessful.

The Matufi Ltd executives could not be contacted as they were believed to have no office and their mobile phone numbers were not known.