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The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC), Australian Federal Police and PNG Customs are very concerned about the high number of illegal firearms entering the country.
Former senior police officer Chief Superintendent Donald Yamasombi made this comment following a joint Police and Customs bust of a huge quantity of firearms, gun powder and accessories late last year.
Yamasombi said despite the bust involving a large quantity if illegal firearms, prominent people including high ranking police officers had gone ahead and gave character reference for the people implicated against the state.
As a result the people involved in the illegal importation and smuggling of the firearms had walked away free, he said.
Yamasombi said prominent business houses were alleged to have been involved in the incident.
“We believe there is a syndicate operating in the country that smuggles illegal firearms into the country,” he said.
He said on April 25, 2012, Police and Customs acting on intelligence made one of the biggest busts of smuggled firearms and accessories.
Some of the contraband were incorrectly declared. Gun powder was declared as lead ballast, bullet heads and cylinders were declared as head block and dice, Yamasombi said.
“It was a deliberate attempt to evade detection,” he said.
He said the total number of contraband imported and detained by PNG Customs were 119,800 primers, 1,100 live ammunitions, 228,650 unprimed cells and bullet heads, 1,821 kg of gun powder, five cartons of
bullet assembly machines and 39 pieces of assorted firearms parts.
He said import of such illegal firearms posed a major threat to the country.
Yamasombi questioned why prominent people and police officers give good character reference to bad people.
“Policemen on the ground put tireless efforts to put a stop to such smuggling of firearms but their efforts had gone to waste, with high ranking officers stepping in and giving evidence against the state,” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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