Security tightened

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THE country’s border security has been further tightened ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Summit in November with the donation by Australia of three patrol vessels and pallet X-ray scanning machines.
The three patrol boats were delivered to PNG Customs yesterday to patrol the country’s borders.
Australian Border Force Deputy Commissioner Operations Mandy Newton said it was important to have vessels to maintain the border between PNG and Australia as there were many challenges.
She said the vessels could be best utilised in the waters of Torres Straits and Daru where there was a huge drug smuggling operation. She said that in the lead up to Apec, it was important to maintain the borders and the vessels would be helpful in making them safe.
Acting Commissioner of Border Security and Regional Operation Benjamin Sine said Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram had announced the donation in November during a head of agency bilateral meeting in Port Moresby.
The three vessels will be used to patrol the country’s maritime border to enhance border security measures.
Commander James Watson, the regional director of the Pacific Command, said the Australian Border Force had relied on similar vessels for its coastal and port operations. PNG Chief Commissioner Customs Ray Paul said they were able to improve their work of keeping the border safe with the continuous partnership and collaboration with Australia.
He said there were challenges but the cross border arrangements and collaborations with Australia were assisting their operations a lot.