PNG customs officers have raised concerns about the inability of PNG’s law enforcement agencies to clamp down on new drugs coming into Papua New Guinea.
The drugs include crystal methamphetamine, known as “ice. Their difficulty is largely due to weak drug laws and regulations that do not specify the names of some newer drugs.
Intelligence sourced by various government organizations, including PNG customs, show that Asian drug smugglers are using Papua New Guinea as a transit point for smuggling hard drugs into Australia as a final destination.
In the last 10 years, drugs like crystal have found their way into Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea’s laws are among the weakest in the South Pacific region.
Police and customs cannot charge the importers of crystal meth because PNG’s drug laws do not specify the drug by its' name.
Also, drug cultivation and importation attracts a maximum sentence of just 2 years.
This is in vast contrast to Papua New Guinea’s nearest neighbors, who take drug offences very seriously. They have some of the harshest penalties on the planet.
In Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, drug offences attract the death penalty.
In places like Lae City, one of the biggest problems is the sale and use of marijuana. Lae City is a transit point for marijuana going to the Niugini islands and Bougainville.
The fear now is that newer, more dangerous drugs, unspecified in PNG’s current legislation, could soon be as widely distributed as marijuana.
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