The National, Monday February 3rd, 2014
SOME people are defying the law by continuing to sell betel nuts in Port Moresby, Governor Powes Parkop says.
As a result, he said a pregnant woman from Tari, in Hela, died while trying to cross the Laloki River outside Port Moresby to get her bags of betel nuts into the city.
Parkop said some people were risking their lives to cross the river to smuggle the banned product into the city.
“I received a report that a pregnant mother from Tari, Hela, who is a resident of 9-Mile, drowned while trying to smuggle betel nuts across the Laloki River,” he said.
“Who are we going to blame here?
“Please follow simple rules and try to be innovative and find other ways of making a living.
“Plans are in place to regulate the sale and consumption of betel nuts in the city and I am working on a win-win solution for all stakeholders.
“I don’t want people to risk their lives in smuggling and selling betel nuts in the city.
“I discourage the public from defying simple rules and instructions. If you try to break the laws, you are risking yourself of being imprisoned, fined or even killed
“Some of the residents are smart and are continuing to sell betel nuts in public places around the city.”
Parkop said the chewing of betel nuts in public places around the city continued despite the warnings from police and the National Capital District Commission.
He said he would announce a long-term plan soon to address the problem.
NCD metropolitan police commander Supt Andy Bawa said police officers would continue to enforce the ban on betel nuts in the city.