The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
SECURITY guards of a private firm in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, have detained and handed over an alleged drug smuggler to police.
The guards also confiscated 13 kilogrammes of marijuana found on the suspect.
Night Owl Security Services (NOSS) guards deployed at the Goroka Air Niugini terminal detected the suspect from Henganofi district, Eastern Highlands, when he offered a bribe of K550.
He gave the money to a guard checking his cargo and was allowed to board the plane bound for Port Moresby.
The guard then alerted his boss Winchlee Oibotee who alerted Goroka police who went into the plane as it was about to depart and picked up the suspect.
He is now detained at the Goroka police cell and the marijuana, which was neatly packed in a travelling bag, is now kept at the Goroka police station.
“My guards are working closely with the police and Air Niugini employees at the airport to clamp down on illegal activities such as drug smuggling.
“If we approached the suspect before he boarded the plane, he would run away so my guard accepted the bribery money and allowed him to enter the plane before we separate his cargo and get the police to get him out of the plane and arrest him,” Oibotee said.
He said they (NOSS) have apprehended a good number of drug smugglers from Goroka airport over the years.
“This is the first arrest and confiscation of marijuana for this year. We recently picked up a Central woman, from Rigo, attempting to take out of Goroka 14 kilogrammes of marijuana,” he said.
The bribe money was also kept by the police to be used as court exhibit.
The arrest last week was witnessed by Air Niuigini aviation security manager Paul Kasi, who was at the Goroka airport during the arrest.
Kasi and Oibotee both raised that the penalties imposed by the courts has been too lenient which did not sent any deterrent messages to drug smugglers and offenders.
“We call for tougher penalties to be imposed so that offenders stop these illegal smuggling, production, consumptions of the illegal substance,” Oibotee said.