By Edwin Fidelis – EMTV News, Kokopo
Kerevat Prison in East New Britain has recorded a steady increase in the number of inmates who being jailed for drug and homebrew offences.
At least 30 people have been arrested, and sentenced for up to two years in jail.
They make up more than 50 per cent of the 522 prisoners at Kerevat.
“We see about 50 admissions every week. Of that 50, 30 of them are jailed for drug and homebrew related offenses,” said Florin Bernard, the prison’s Admission Officer.
The ever-increasing number of admissions at the prison shows the wide consumption of these items in the province.
“Minimum penalty for drug and hombrew offences is six months. The maximum can be two years depending on the quantity they had in their possession during the time of arrest,” Bernard said.
Meanwhile, East New Britain police have responded to numerous complaints and have made arrests. But they haven’t even scratched the surface of this growing problem.
Numerous drug and homebrew busts by police in the province have indicated a well-established and dedicated underground market.
Many who produce it say it is a thriving business in towns and settlements for those who don’t have regular paid jobs.
Police for the most part depend on information from the public before they can make any arrests. Many don’t get to be reported and those involved in it are not arrested and charged.
And like many other areas handing in one of their own in the community to the police, may not be an easy decision for the people to make.