Photo ban at border

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

Security officers manning the Wutung PNG-Indonesian border post have been ordered to stop tourists from taking photographs of the scenic coastline of Wutung in West Sepik.
PNG Immigration and Citizenship deputy chief migration officer for border and enforcement Solomon Kantha told The National yesterday: “We have stopped the business of ‘jalang jalang’ or sightseeing on the PNG side of the border because a third of national citizens (from Africa, Asia and Middle East) pretend to come over to admire the coastline, take photographs and sneak into PNG,” he said.
Border officials said it was a regrettable decision because Indonesians loved to come across and take photos, but one that had to be made to protect the country.
“Just like PNG citizens go across to shop at the Batas Market and take photos, a third of national citizens take advantage of our friendly meetings and enter PNG through Wutung,” one of the officials said.
He said they were in contact with their Indonesian counterparts at the Skouw border post to monitor the movement of tourists crossing from Indonesia.
“We still allow tourists, mostly Indonesians, to come across and take photos of our coastline. All of us, including the police. PNG Defence Force soldiers and even the locals look after,” the official said
He said border crossers were required to check-in at the Wutung and Skouw  offices.
“If they cross into Vanimo, they are further checked at the Vanimo Airport before departing on aircrafts to other parts of the country,” the official said.
Last week, PNG chief migration officer Mataio Rabura told Wutung border officials to be mindful of people coming through Indonesia with the intention of entering Australia.