Top cop alleges intimidation

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ARMED police officers from the Morobe command are allegedly intimidating their counterparts from Northern to facilitate betel nut smuggling between the provinces, acting Southern region commander Chief Supt John Maru says.
Chief Supt Maru said police in Northern were enforcing the state of emergency Covid-19 operations by banning the sale of betel nuts in the province.
“But police officers from the Morobe command are protecting betel nut smugglers from being arrested by Northern police officers when they are caught with betel nuts in the Northern side of the order,” he said.
“Such intimidation from officers from the Morobe police command can create confrontation with officers from the Northern police command.
“Betel nut smuggling is still continuing along North Coast area where they are being smuggled out to Lae.
“We have received reports that Morobe police on Tuesday went up to Mamba River in Sohe in seven dinghies all armed with high-powered rifles.
“These police officers went into Mamba River after betel nut buyers called them.
“Last Sunday betel nut buyers from Lae travelled into Mamba River in two dinghies when police officers (community-based constables) were out with the awareness team and confronted them.
“They told the buyers to return but when they refused, they argued and the police officers allegedly assaulted them. The buyers then contacted Lae and seven dinghies loaded with armed police officers turned up, travelled up from Lae and into Mamba River on Tuesday.”
Chief Supt Maru said reinforcement was deployed to Mamba River from Popondetta on Wednesday as the police officers from Morobe command are still at Mamba River.
“We have received a complaint from the Morobe commander Supt Alex N’Drasal that three men from Morobe were allegedly assaulted by police at the North Coast border.
“But, in fact, the local villagers assaulted those three men for repeatedly crossing the border to buy betel nuts.”
However, Supt N’Drasal is denying the allegation, claiming that Northern police were unnecessarily harassing Morobe villagers who were visiting their relatives in the Northern side of the border.
“I did send police officers to investigate reports that Northern police officers had bashed up Morobe villagers for suspecting them smuggling betel nuts,” he said.
Northern police are following up on the seven boats allegedly trying to smuggle betel nuts, their commander Supt Michael Welly said.
He one of the seven boats was impounded on Tuesday.


  • Morobe Police Commander Supt Alex N’drasal should be disciplined for insubordination from SoE Control regulations and defending his rogue Officers who were seen to be aiding illegal activities prohibited under SoE rules.

  • What a disgrace and shame! Are we here to enforce the Emergency orders given by the SOE Controller or to aid people breaking the SOE orders?

  • like they (police) normally say, not guilty till proven with their own officers, and still roam around and cause more trouble, and ordinary citizens will be locked for months and years for wait court….

  • To solvel this.Why not allow selling of betelnut. It’s not betelnut chewing that causes Corona virus.
    The emphasis should be on public chewing and spitting.
    We are making it look like betelnut is an illegal drug and not marijuana as it looks like.

  • Supt N’Drasal should be investigated and disciplined. Northern Province is not under your command for you to send over police from morobe. Something smells fishy..corruption

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