The National, Monday July 8th, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
PEOPLE from Southern and Western Highlands who are smuggling alcohol into Hela will be heavily penalised, the Tari police station commander says.
Station commander Peter Buka said those caught red-handed with alcohol would be set bail at K5,000.
“Operation Sekim Road, along the national highway from Ambua Gap to Margarima came into operation in May and is continuing,” Buka said.
He made the announcement after 140 cartons of canned beer were confiscated at Ambua Gap by police from Tari and the highway patrol.
Eighty cartons were confiscated by the highway patrol last Monday and 60 cartons last weekend by Tari police.
“Every passenger caught inside vehicles with alcohol will be charged with aiding the illegal smuggling and to bail out is K5,000,” he said.
He said people thought of making fast money and were heavily involved in the illegal activities as the province had seen a rise in alcohol consumption earlier this year.
“At Nogoli, a bottle of SP is sold for K20 and in Tari it is K13. People are making a 100% profit and many have become overnight millionaires,” he said.
Buka said people could be selling alcohol for much more in other areas at project sites and police were doing all they could to stop this as alcohol was the source of many problems.
He said Const Thomas Andale was in charge of the highway patrol division and so far had confiscated a good number of cartons of beer under Operation Sekim Road.
He said alcohol was banned in Southern Highlands and Hela was part of the ban and people must stop this illegal business.