The gun culture in Papua New Guinea is slowly taking a new turn.
While the police are working on stemming crime on the streets using homemade weapons (pictured), there are more serious concerns.
Acting Assistant Commissioner for Crime, Chief Superintendent Donald Yamasombi, said in Lae yesterday that more sophisticated guns are being imported illegally into the country. They come in largely undetected.
“These weapons are not used by our military or the police… They should not be used by civilians as they pose a national security threat,” Chief Superintendent Yamasombi said.
But what is posing a serious concern to the country is the PNG’s National Firearms Act.
Police say the Firearms Act is old and the serious crimes involving smuggling of illegal firearms cannot be used to appropriately charge offenders.
All this comes after a gun smuggling bust 2 years ago which involved high-powered firearms that were smuggled into the country.
Yoshi Kuni Ikeda, a 39 year old Indonesian man alleged to be involved in a gun smuggling racket, has his case now before the Lae court.
Also, the owner of a prominent company in Lae is also expected to stand trial tomorrow following his alleged involvement in smuggling militaristic weapons into PNG.
The two cases are now before the courts in Lae. Police say both may rely on the Customs Act and not the PNG Firearms Act.
“Our Firearms Act is outdated and it is a serious concern,” Chief Superintendent Yamasombi said.
Much of the bad news is coming from the borders; the PNG-Indonesian border and PNG-Australian border.
National security risks are mounting, police say, and the level of attention given to these strategic locations is extremely unsatisfactory.
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