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September 21, 2020
Crime Featured News

Members of Drug Syndicate All Charged

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Names of the Italian and three PNG men charged in relation to the smuggling of illegal drugs (cocaine) in July have been released following their brief appearances in court today.

All four were charged under the Customs Act and are remanded at the Bomana Immigration Centre.

And Australian pilot, 52-year-old David Cutmore, initially charged under Section 16 (1) (a) of the Migration Act has been slapped with additional charges. He becomes the first expatriate to be charged under Section 47 (1) (a) of the new Pandemic Act, for failing to comply with International Travel order.

Australian Pilot David Cutmore

He was also charged under Section 151 (2) (a) of the Customs Act – offences in relation to Narcotic Drugs where the penalty is K50,000 or up to 10 years imprisonment or both.

The Italian Carlos Attanasio is the captain of MV Badu and is facing two counts of Smuggling under Section 49 of the Customs Act. This offence also attracts a penalty of K50,000 or up to 10 years imprisonment or both.

Italian Carlos Attanasio, captain of MV Badu.

Police allege that on two different occasions in February and March this year, Attanasio was found in possession of over 600 kilograms of cocaine at Kupiano station in Abau District, Central province.

Similar charges were also laid against the three PNG Nationals who were arrested for their part in aiding and abetting in illegal import and smuggling of drugs into PNG.

The PNG men charged are Shane Dikana, 35-year-old Morgan Mogu from Abau District, and Dominic Telauki from Motlock in the Autonomous Region.

All were charged under the Customs Act.

In March EMTV News took footage of MV Badu while on assignment with Water Police.

Intelligence reports reveal the illicit drugs were brought into Port Moresby on MV Badu by sea in March.

This now establishes a route for drug smuggling, giving Papua New Guineans an idea where the cocaine came from before attempts were made to enter the Australian market.

Yesterday the Prime Minister issued orders for the Australian Pilot, 52-year-old David John Cutmore to remain in PNG and assist police with investigations.

Since the plane crash on July 26th and the recovery of 200 million kina worth of cocaine, more pressure has been put on police to investigate and prosecute those involved.

Police have conducted searches at three locations including the Sanctuary Hotel in Port Moresby, in an attempt to establish a drug route.

The Australian Federal Police are assisting Deputy Police Commissioner – Operations Donald Yamasombi in this investigation, an investigation that the Prime Minister says must be thorough.

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