By DULCIE OREKE
MORE than 400 cartons of beer were confiscated by police in Western province after liquor licencees failed to observe a liquor ban that started on Dec 18.
One of the rogue licensees was a police officer who was selling beer less than 100m from the police station at Kiunga.
Provincial police commander Chief Insp Peter Philip said yesterday that the combined effort of the community and police resulted in several raids on the illegal traders during Christmas and Boxing Day, resulting in confiscations of these cartons of beer removed from licensed premises and taken to the police station,.
Chief Insp Philip said Christmas operation for the province had been “alright” thus far although there were minor cases, mostly alcohol-related.
He said drunks who were arrested for being disorderly in public areas alerted police to the illegal trading and it did not take long to track down and round up the culprits,
Chief Insp Philip commended the community for their full support in tracking the trade.
Police confiscated all seven licences from the liquor traders, including the senior policeman, for breaching the liquor ban.
Insp Philip said it was disgrace that a senior police officer was operating an outlet illegally so close to the police station.
He said appropriate charges would be laid while, the liquor licensing board determines whether they should continue trading liquor after failing to observe the ban.
In an unrelated accident, a Southern Highlander working for a shipping company had left his ship to go to town to look for alcohol when he met his fate.
Police said the man had hidden onshore and drank before returning to the docked ship where he was employed as the chef.
According to police reports, the chef was boarding the ship when he slipped and fell into the Fly River.
The 35-year-old’s body was found after a two-day search last Saturday after a woman paddling along the river spotted his body and told police.
His body is currently at the Kiunga hospital while his relatives have been informed.
Insp Philip said they were also waiting for a coroner’s report.