By Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) has called on the government to draft new legislation to deal with the increase in illicit drugs, with particular reference to methamphetamine.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Raphael Huafolo, says current legislation is inadequate to deal with new illicit drugs entering PNG.
An awareness program on amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) is currently being conducted by the RPNGC, Australian Federal Police, and Australian Aid. Amphetamine type stimulants such as methamphetamine are the second most-used illicit drug in the world, following cannabis.
While its use in PNG may not be common, there are strong grounds to suggest tough legislation to counter this growing threat is needed.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Huafolo predicts this could become problematic for PNG, given its poor technological capabilities to detect these illicit drugs.
With help from the Australian Federal Police and Australian Aid, RPNGC is informing communities on the harmful effects of ATS.
Key government agencies are also being trained to detect, deter and disrupt ATS activities in PNG.
The global trend is alarming. In 2014, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime reported an estimated increase from 13.9 million to 54.8 million users worldwide.
Much of the ATS activities are run by organised crime groups.
Huafolo called for a more coordinated effort from all stakeholders.
The awareness program will be carried out not just in Port Moresby, but in other centres such as Lae, Madang and Kokopo as well.