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PNG Ports has been receiving reports of illegal activities, including alleged theft of vessel parts and cargoes, prostitution, arms trade, illicit drug smuggling and other crimes in Rabaul’s Simpson Harbour.

Therefore, in its effort to curb the crime launched a surveillance Rubber Inflated Boat to monitor the harbour and report to Police. 

PNG Ports Chief Maritime Compliance Officer, Ben Tomba during the launching said the alleged illegal activities were done to vessels at anchorage in the harbour in collaboration with the vessel crews and local communities living around the harbour.

“While it is not PNG Port’s responsibility to provide security to the vessels at anchorage, the company as part of its community service obligation (CSO) carried out annual awareness to the local communities regarding these allegations of illegal activities, and further supported the local water police with fuel to provide surveillance at the port area,” Tomba said.

“As a result of the increase in reported illegal activities, the boat was launched to provide weekly surveillance to deter and report these activities to the Police.”

“This investment is PNG Ports’ contribution to curb the rise in illegal activities among vessels at anchorage, ensuring the Simpson’s harbour is safe and secure for everyone to conduct business.”

“PNG Ports also requests all port stakeholders to work together with PNG Ports to keep the Port Area safe and secure.”

“We are only supporting the work of police, and any illegal or suspicious activity will be reported to local police who will take carriage of the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile the National Operations Manager of PNG Ports, Felix Bauri said that the Rabaul Port has recently seen a major security upgrade with the installation of solar lights, new fencing and works on cyber security.

He added that the launching of the boat compliments the overall plan to improve security at the port.

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