Police intercept couple in yacht en route to Rabaul


Police in Manus have intercepted a foreign yacht near an island off Lorengau on Saturday, Manus police commander Chief Insp David Yapu says.
Yapu said an Australian couple in their yacht had travelled from Australia to Indonesia before entering Papua New Guinea waters en route to Rabaul, East New Britain.
They were stopped by the province’s sea surveillance team during their Covid-19 response operations.
Yapu said the couple were told that the country was in a state of emergency (SOE) lockdown.
He said the couple were not allowed to dock in Manus but to continue on to Rabaul.
Yapu said he had notified New Ireland and East New Britain of the yacht’s intended route and for them to arrange quarantine procedures (including the mandatory 14-day isolation period) with local customs officials and health authorities once it reached its destination.
Yapu said his officers were monitoring boats coming into the province for illegal items such as drugs, guns and betel nuts from West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang and New Ireland into Lorengau during the SOE lockdown period.
He said police had already confiscated and destroyed bags of betel nuts and had arrested the offenders.
Yapu thanked the Governor Charlie Benjamin, MP Job Pomat and administrator Oka Nungu for their support during their operations.