By Eric Haurupma (UPNG Journalism Student) – EM TV, Port Moresby
Lives of security personnel monitoring the Laloki betel nut checkpoint just outside of Port Moresby are at risk. This is because smugglers trading betel nut across the checkpoint have continuously threatened them with the use of offensive weapons.
Dick Elo, a reserve police constable, spoke of the ordeals faced and said that authorised security personnel, stationed at the Laloki checkpoint to implement the betel nut ban in NCD, have been threatened by betel nut smugglers.
He said while checking vehicles, they have confiscated and destroyed betel nuts in bags brought in from the Central and Gulf Provinces.
“On several occasions, betel nut smugglers have used offensive weapons to intimidate security personnel to forcefully smuggle betel nut into NCD”, said Dick Elo.
He added that many were not able to move around freely, because of continuous threats and harassment from betel nut smugglers.
He said these continuous intimidations have prevented them from accessing store goods and other services from Port Moresby.