The National, Monday October 14th, 2013
A MULTI-MILLION kina government office complex has been built on the border in Wutung, West Sepik.
Papua New Guinea Customs Commissioner Ray Paul said they would install an X-Ray machine to check all goods entering the country.
He said CCTV cameras would monitor the movement of goods and people.
Paul said the country had capacity problems with border control areas and WutungVanimo was undoubtedly the most problematic point of entry.
He said it was where most contraband, including tobacco products, entered rural PNG markets.
“These goods are delivered mainly to the coastal areas in Wewak and Madang and are distributed to the highlands and New Guinea Islands,” Paul said. He cautioned people who smoke to be careful of what they inhaled because they did not know what the smuggled cigarettes were made of.
Acting deputy commissioner James Bire said Customs was trying to cut the sale of contraband tobacco and they were keen to see improvement in the movement of goods.
“Most of these goods are transported under the cover of darkness by road and sea as the perpetrators of these illicit activities know Customs and government agencies lack the capacity to enforce laws,” Paul said.
“Other operational capability-enhancing initiatives will be developed as the Wutung border project progresses to completion in 2014.
“It includes the establishment of an electronic system facilitating the processing of documentation relating to importation and exportation of goods.”
Customs signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICCC to forge new programmes to ensure the enforcement of the legislations that the two organisations have been mandated to do.
“Customs is here to facilitate trade and promote foreign investments as well as to encourage competition in our economy.”