By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV, Port Moresby
The 56 illegal miners arrested last weekend by the PNGDF Force Support Battalion have been found guilty by the Porgera District Court this week.
Senior Local Magistrate Michael Apie charged the arrested miners guilty on one count of unlawfully on premises and a fine of K300 or face 6 months with hard labour.
However, arrest officers from the Mining Asset Protection want tougher penalties on offenders since villages have committed this crime, time and time again.
Officers say tactics used by the illegal miners are also dangerous. The 56 Illegal miners were arrested at the Stock Pile 68 near the Kumbipara area.
Of the 56 illegal miners, a woman Esther Simon 40 years old from Laiagam was also arrested among the group. The youngest male is 18 years old and the oldest is about 60 years old.
According to Police the arrest is the highest of illegal miners since the SOE Call out Operation in April 2014.