Miner helps police uphold lawv

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 04th April, 2013

THE Porgera Gold Mine in Enga is assisting the local police to improve law and order in the Porgera valley.
Executive general manager Greg Walker said yesterday that the mine operator Barrick Niugini Ltd was working with the police to ensure that police were equipped to carry out their duties effectively.
He added that the company had assisted in constructing the Paiam police barracks under the Tax Credit Scheme.
He said the police manpower was increased from 10 to more than 40 officers.
Walker added that the Porgera Gold Mine ensured that a police mobile squad is present to assist the local police.
Paiam police station commander Inspector David Kongua said the officers were now on a 24-hour roster after the increase in their manpower.
But he said the shortages in fuel, vehicles, and firearms had interrupted their operations.
Lagaip-Porgera administrator Mori Iarume said illegal mining, alcohol-related offences, and tribal fighting were affecting the district.
 He revealed that the illegal miners were spending their money on alcohol and women.
“A lot of the law and order problems we have in the district, the main contributing factor is alcohol,” Iarume said.
He added that illegal selling of alcohol and the rise in the production, sale and consumption of homebrew were happening in Porgera.
“We have licensed clubs which are sanctioned by the provincial liquor licensing board to operate but there are some illegal activities happening which are contributing to law and order problems,” he said.
Iarume said the major tribal fights had stopped under Operesen Mekim Save carried out by a group of village courts magistrates and chairmen.