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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PNG Police Make Major Drug Bust In Port Moresby
$8 million worth of ‘ice’ seized in raid

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 12, 2012) – Port Moresby police have busted what they believe to be one of Papua New Guinea’s biggest drug busts involving 50 kilograms of methyl amphetamine, commonly known as "Ice" or "Speed" with a street value of $US8 million, which is equivalent to K15 million.

The drug bust, said to be the biggest in PNG, unearths what police believe is the work of a syndicate run by a well organised criminal network operating across the world and the Asia-Pacific region.

Police say the perpetrators were going to use PNG as a supply point for other international markets including Australia and New Zealand.

Two Asian nationals and a Papua New Guinean were arrested and charged for attempting to smuggle the K15 million worth of drugs into the country.

The operation which involved PNG Police, PNG Customs and Australian Federal Police in collaboration with police in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, literally provided a shield for the Pacific by intercepting the huge consignment of illicit drugs.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba in revealing this bust yesterday said: "This successful operation also goes to show the effective intelligence network between the Royal PNG Constabulary and the Australian Federal Police who are allies and members of the Pacific Transnational Crime network.

"The contraband which originated from the Netherlands in Europe was neatly packed into the metal frames of two welding machines consigned as cargo bound for PNG when they were detected in the United Kingdom.

"Detectives in the UK removed the drugs, replaced it with soap powder and inserted a tracking device to allow what we call in police terminology – a controlled delivery."

They kept surveillance on the cargo and used the existing international law enforcement network to inform the Australian Federal Police, New Zealand Police and members of the Transnational Crime Unit and PNG Customs.

They followed the illicit cargo to New Zealand and Australia before it was delivered to Port Moresby two weeks ago on October 24. Australian Federal Police, members of PNG Transnational Crime Unit and Customs kept surveillance on the illicit cargo until it was delivered to a house at Nonu Street in Boroko.

After obtaining a search warrant, the law enforcement officers entered the premises unnoticed on Friday night on November 2.

The officers waited until dawn and arrested two Malaysian men and Papua New Guinean who went to collect the drugs at the Boroko residence.

The suspects were identified as Siew Sin NG, aged 39, of Malaysia who is employed as general manager of Econ Trading based in Port Moresby; Desranto Supranto, 42, of Jakarta, Indonesia, employed as manager with Papamal Enterprise in Port Moresby, and Kendal Gegera, 42 of Ewora village, Ioma, Oro Province employed as director of Yema Gaiapa Developers Limited.

The three suspects were formally arrested and charged with conspiracy to import 50 kilograms of methyl amphetamine into the country, contrary to section 515 (a) and (b) of the PNG Criminal Code Act. The interception of this large amount of illicit drugs believed to have been orchestrated by an international crime network indicates that PNG is vulnerable to cross-border criminal exploitation.

PNG Post-Courier:
Copyright 2012 PNG Post-Courier. All Rights Reserved.

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