The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011
By ANGELINE KARIUS
CHIEF of operations and acting deputy commissioner of police Fred Yakasa is in Vanimo, West Sepik, to settle the local command and overseeing of the entire operation Sunset Merona.
Yakasa arrived in Vanimo over the weekend to assess the current progress of the operation on the ground and collect first-hand information to report directly to acting commissioner Tony Wagambie and the national executive council.
On his three-day visit, which was prompted by adverse media reports, he will inspect the progress of operations, settling of the local command and submission for the extension of the operations.
“I am here to correct issues on the ground as chief of operations and to request for the extension of the operations for another two months.”
He said the communities appreciated the community policing by Sunset Merona personnel from Port Moresby.
“I will also assess the strengths and weaknesses of the operation.”
The National also understands that Yakasa met with Sandaun administrator Joe Sungi and district administrator Lou Badui and senior officials on Monday.
He said both men were in support and raised concerns for its extension, adding that their current objectives were also in line with the upcoming general elections next year.
Meanwhile, Yakasa visited the PNG-Indonesia border security office on Monday, raising concerns on the current state of facilities.
According to a local support officer Charles Mambo, the border had been neglected for the past three years in terms of logistic support to successfully be effective.
He said only six officers from Customs, migration, health quarantine, food quarantine and police were manning the Wutung checkpoint.
“The two-way radio installed has not been working for the past three years as well as electricity,” he said, adding that most of the smuggling activities occurred after hours.
“Normal shift is from 9am to 5pm.”
However, mechanisms were in place to monitor the areas inland and the sea.
Yakasa said the aligned government approach by Customs, migrations, foreign affairs, police and PNG Defence Force would work together to improve border facilities.