by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Customs Commissioner, Ray Paul has confirmed that PNG border security lacks adequate resources and man-power to detect, and manage crimes.
Today, a first ever, border technology called, the Thermo Scientific First-Defender RM, was launched and commissioned.
It will be used for testing non-contact, non-destructive chemicals, and for explosives identification.
First-Defender is a technology or instrument which can be used to obtain accurate chemical identification in mere seconds.
More than 2000 different chemicals, which include steroids, cocaine, drugs, and explosives, can be identified.
This has replaced the use of laboratories, where in the past, it took more than a week to detect, or test chemicals to determine whether they were harmful to human beings, or not.
Apart from Australia and New Zealand, PNG is one of the first island nations to use the 1st-Defender.
Ray Paul says that even though PNG border security is up to International standards, it lacks adequate resources and man-power.
Currently, there are approximately 400 men and women working for PNG customs.
He highlighted that there is no fencing at the Wutung border in Sandaun Province, through to Daru, in Western Province.
This has seen the rise of trans-national crimes at the border.
There is also a rise in contraband products, like arms or weapons, cigarettes and other goods being transported into the country, without being detected.
Although these activities are taking place on land, stories of sea pirating activities have reached them, but they haven’t caught any yet.
Paul says this is a concern for PNG Customs, the government, and partners like the law enforcement agencies.
Although handy, it cost K165 000 to buy just one 1st-defender.
Five have already been purchased, and will be stationed at the Wutung border, Jacksons International Airport, Boroko Post-office, with the other two in Port Moresby and Lae.