Roadblocks aim to stop drug trade

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, February 16, 2011

LARGE quantities of marijuana worth tens of thousands of kina are being transported along the Highlands Highway everyday.
This had promoted police in Eastern Highlands to set up roadblocks at strategic locations along the highway to stop those transporting the drug.
Watabung, Daulo Pass, Asaro, Henganofi and Yonki were some of the areas where regular roadblocks were set up.
Police from Goroka, Kainantu, Aiyura and Yonki deployed at Yonki PNG Power Ltd to protect its properties, confiscated large amounts of marijuana at the roadblocks and said they arrested at least 10 drug traffickers everyday.
Police in Yonki had destroyed the marijuana they picked up at the Yonki roadblock late last
Eastern Highlands police commander Supt Augustine Wampe condemned the transporting, consumption and cultivation of the illegal substance, saying that anyone caught involved in the illegal activity would be dealt with according to the law.
However, police said the penalties imposed by the courts for drug offenders were light and did not deter those involved in the drug trade.
The marijuana, commonly known as “Niugini gold”, was being transported from as far as Western Highlands, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands bound for buyers in Lae and Madang.
Some were shipped to Wewak, Rabaul, Popondetta, Alotau and Port Moresby.