Sea patrol set for border

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TWO PNG Defence Force patrol boats will be deployed along the seas of the PNG-Indonesian border to boost military’s operations in preventing illegal crossing between PNG and Indonesia, acting PNGDF Chief of Force Preparation Col Opa Lari says.
“One of these boats will be deployed to Western to patrol the seas of the southern part of the border while the other one will be deployed to West Sepik to patrol the seas of the northern part of the border,” he said.
“Fresh soldiers are now being deployed along the border and the Highlands as of last Thursday to replace the ones who were there for the last four months.”
Col Lari said yesterday that the PNGDF would step up its monitoring of the border due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Indonesia with a total of 32 reported cases in the Indonesian border cities of Merauke and Jayapura. “We are aware that the border has been closed,” he said.
“But there are still activities like illegal crossing going on.”
Earlier on, West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou, in regards to illegal crossings between PNG and Indonesia, said he wanted the army and police to boost their deployment to the border.
“I have written to Police Commissioner David Manning to provide a police boat for my provincial Covid-19 task force awareness team to monitor the seas between Vanimo and Jayapura,” he said.
“I also want PNG Defence Force soldiers to be deployed along the PNG-Indonesian border.
“Currently, we have only 70 police officers in the province and that is not enough.
“People are still coming as far as East Sepik to do business, especially to sell vanilla beans in Jayapura, although there is awareness going on about Covid-19 in my province and East Sepik and that is very careless.”