All Air Niugini flights are subjected for full inspection by PNG Customs offficals following the increased detection of prohibited imports and smuggled goods; the latest stunt, Herbal tea Packages containing Tobacco.
Customs officers at the Port Moresby Jacksons International Airport will be doing a more thorough check on passengers from there due to the increased number of detections of prohibited imports and smuggled goods.
This comes after nine Herbal Tea packages containing pure tobacco were seized by Customs officers following a search on two passengers disembarking flight PX 019 from Hong Kong on Thursday.
Smuggling tobacco in Herbal Tea packages is becoming a common sight.
Just last week, customs officers discovered eight packages of Asian Green Tea in a rubbish bin at the international terminal; they were vacuum sealed and factory packed.
Upon opening it, the officials found tobacco instead of Green Tea.
Bringing in tobacco is not illegal, but a passenger is allowed to carry only 250g of tobacco.
Customs Caretaker Commissioner, Waliya Abilo, in a press release said, it has become a concern for Customs that many people are looking for ways to avoid paying duty.
Abilo said, These incidents may seem minor, but when you add them all up over time, a lot of revenue owed to the State is foregone when they go undetected.
The two passengers who attempted to smuggle the nine packages of tobacco were fined K900 each.
Abilo said, from experience many of the offenders are foreigners working in PNG.
Meanwhile, the two high profile cases involving the smuggling of the Methamphetamine or ice in February and March respectively are still being investigated.