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Seven foreigners pleaded guilty on Monday in the Alotau District Court for illegally entering Papua New Guinea.
Alotau provincial police commander Chief Inspector Geroge Bayagau said this while updating the Post-Courier on the cocaine drug that was discovered on one of the islands of Budibudi in the Milne Bay Province.
“The seven were charged last week Friday on one count of illegally entry into the country under the Immigration Act and one count of being in possession of a dangerous drug,” said Bayagau.
Shek Sai, 50-years-old, from Hong Kong who is the skipper of the unidentified vessel that was allegedly transporting the suspects with the drug, was ordered by the district court to pay a K5000(US$1,536) court fine.
Lan Tse Lik,40, from Hong Kong an engineer (not specified), Leichi Fai 46 of Hong Kong origin and a crew member on the vessel, King Xim 27 also from Hong Kong, Tang Haon Long, 38 from Hong Kong, Yeung Chun Nai from Hong Kong and Marko Vuvovic from Montenegro, southeastern Europe were ordered to pay a court fine of K3000(U$922).
Bayagau said the seven pleaded guilty on one count of illegal entry each, however, pleaded not guilty to being in possession of the dangerous drug.
“If the suspects pay the court fine for the first charge, they will still be remanded in prison to stand trial on the second charge (being in possession of dangerous drug).”
He said the matter was adjourned to August 28 for trial.
According to a police report, between May 1-5, an unidentified vessel (bigger than the size of a legal fishing vessel) was found in the waters of Milne Bay Province.
The vessel was alleged to have transported the dangerous drug which was hidden underneath coral reefs in one of the three small islands of Budibudi.
A local who went fishing saw a line attached to a coral reef and followed it and located the drugs.
The drugs were sealed in a big bag, containing 11 white paper packs each holding between four to six bars of cocaine.
Police were informed, and with officers from Customs and the PNG Defence Force Navy element put surveillance and caught the vessel on May 24.
The suspects were held in custody under migration detention until everything was finalised.....
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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