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DRUG TRAFFICKERS IN RURAL PNG

By Lindy Suharupa

Local drug traffickers have been operating in rural PNG for years now.

With limited to none police presence along the he hinterlands of the country, local including women carry these drugs and walks for days to reach Daru in the western province to sell.

Papua New Guinea, with its densely mountainous areas and remote villages and scarcely populated rural areas, drug traffickers have taken advantage of this and are continuously transporting illegal drugs like marijuana to profitable markets in NCD, Gulf and Daru, in the Western Province, for huge cash.

A retired public servant from Lagai village, Ward 14 in Menyamya district in rural Morobe told this newsroom via telephone that this is a lucrative business that sees men, women and children partake in

“They take the bush track from Marawaka (in the Eastern Highlands Province) and other provinces as well and walk towards South West Menyamya. The area is kunai plateau and dense jungle areas to,”

“Currently I’m in the village where there is no proper road access. The nearest feeder road access is the Menyamya Station and from there to my village (Lagai Ward 14) is almost six to eight hours walk by foot”.

According to Mr Abraham, these drug traffickers can begin their long journey by foot from Marawaka in the Eastern Highlands Province and other parts of the Highlands provinces with their bags of marijuana and walk for days, even weeks to reach their final destination

“What these guys (local drug traffickers) normally do, they walk from Marawaka for days to reach my village. They use my village as a transit point to rest for the night.”

“It takes about two to three hours for them to reach the nearest river delta that takes them by boat to Kerema town.”

“Sometimes they split; some go by boat to Baimuru or Kikori or towards Western Province”

“Destined markets areas are Kerema, Daru and even NCD.”

Mr Abraham says the only rural police station is situated in the district headquarters in Menyamya however law enforcers there are not well equipped to effectively maintain police presence throughout.

For now, men, women and children in our rural communities continue to partake in this illegal business as they say it provides for them money for their basic necessities.

But for how long will this drug trade continue, is a question that needs immediate answers

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