Liquor being smuggled into Southern Highlands

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ENGA police have revealed that liquor is being smuggled from Enga into Southern Highlands.
Provincial police commander Supt Martin Lakari said since a liquor ban was imposed in Southern Highlands, people used the excess roads and bush tracks from Kandep to Mendi and Margarima to smuggle liquor.
He added that because Enga did not have such a ban, licence holders were free to transport liquor around the province.
He said there were no checkpoints in Enga and anyone could smuggle alcohol into Southern Highlands at night.
Lakari revealed this after a concerned villager from Mendi, who lived near Winja in Kandep, said he saw many people smuggling liquor through Kandep-Mendi road.
John Paile said some people avoided police check point at Paunda mini hydro, located at the border of Southern Highlands and Western Highlands, by transporting  liquor through the Kandep road.
Paile said the liquor ban imposed by the provincial executive council last year would be effective when provincial government gave more money to police to set up checkpoints on the two existing feeder roads connecting Southern Highlands with Kandep.
He said the smugglers were making good money in the province, adding that even though a bottle of beer would cost K10, people were still drinking.
Paile said unless the provincial government gave more money for police to maintain a 24-hour check point on the two excess roads, it would help prevent people from smuggling alcohol into the province.