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Port Moresby
March 4, 2021

Calls for Special Immigration Task Force Continue

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by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby

Momentum to re-engage the Special Immigration Task Force has increased in the last three weeks.

Citizens have expressed anger on social media on the increase of foreigners and illegal immigrants. While the government, through Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenouc, says they are considering the issue, the chief migration officer is yet to present an overall performance report.

This will determine whether the Special Immigration Task Force, headed by Coordinator John Bria, will be re-engaged.

Attempts to get comments from the chief migration officer were unsuccessful. While the government is awaiting the report on the Special Immigration Task Force, which was set up in 2012, the number of illegal immigrants and illegal activities has increased.

Three Chinese nationals were arrested for allegedly attempting to murder a G4S security guard.

Also in Lae, a businessman from Singapore was arrested by police for smuggling firearms into the country. The matter is before the courts. Apart from citizens, Northern Governor Gary Juffa also supported the calls to re-engage Special Immigration Task Force; however, he wants the unit to have properly skilled officers capable of detecting illegal and organised crime.

To date, however, the government is awaiting an operations report from the chief migration officer.

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