By Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Police operations in Popondetta, Northern province will be in full swing this year.
Provincial Police Commander, Lincoln Gerari, said 2016 operations will be targeting the production and consumption of homebrew, and the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
Although major crimes such as armed robberies, murder and rape are declining, there are still pockets of such criminal activities that need policing.
He said homebrew and marijuana are rife along the border of Morobe and Milne Bay provinces.
Christmas and New Year Operations saw more than 20 youths surrender their equipment for producing homebrew to Police, as well as many who uprooted marijuana plants.
The first 10 defendants charged with producing homebrew and cultivating marijuana appeared before senior magistrate Vincent Linge at the Popondetta District Court last Monday.
They were found guilty and sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour at Biru Correctional Service Institution in Popondetta. A fine of K2,000 was also imposed on them by the magistrate.
Gerari believes the sentencing will act as a deterrent for future criminal activities.
More prisoners are expected to appear before the court to answer to their charges but slow court file preparations has been blamed for the delay.
Arresting officers have been notified to submit their court information by the end of this week to expedite process.