Repatriation of prisoners to restart

National

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THE repatriation of prisoners from Daru to Port Moresby will restart next week so that maintenance can be done on the condemned prison, PNG Correctional Services Commissioner Stephen Pokanis says.
Pokanis said yesterday that the Western health authority had condemned the jail in South Fly due to typhoid outbreak among inmates.
“Only two prisoners out of the 40 were repatriated to Port Moresby on March 22, just two days prior to the cancellation of all domestic flights when Covid-19 state of emergency came into effect on March 24,” Pokanis said.
“We are now putting together the arrangement to move the convicted detainees out from Daru jail. It should start next week. The delay was due to closure of travel movements imposed to border provinces.
“The on-off arrangement did not go down well as expected based on a couple of reasons. Before Covid-19, we have to wait for four weeks to get the budget in. PNGCS then paid Air Niugini and PNG Air to repatriate the detainees and escorting officers.
“Both airlines needed time to clear the cheques. Later on, PNG Air informed PNGCS that they will not assist.”

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