Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua New Guinea (PNG) Police in West Sepik Province seeks collaboration with the Indonesian police in Papua Province to fight against cross-border drug trafficking operations.

To this end, West Sepik Police Chief Superintendent Commanding Officer Michael Auirap met with Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Fakhiri in Jayapura City on Wednesday (April 3).

Speaking to ANTARA after meeting with Fakhiri, he told ANTARA that the Indonesia-PNG border areas remain vulnerable to the cross-border trafficking of marijuana involving PNG citizens.

Hence, the PNG-Indonesia police's collaboration in the war on drugs is indispensable, he affirmed, adding that several PNG citizens' involvement in the drug offenses is often triggered by "economic factors".

Auirap said marijuana is illegal in PNG, and those trafficking it are subject to criminal sanctions, and if found guilty by the district court, they could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

The PNG police continue to work with various stakeholders in the country to promote public awareness campaigns on criminal sanctions related to the trafficking of cannabis, he revealed.

In halting the recurrence of cross-border trafficking of marijuana in the PNG-Indonesia border, the PNG police hope that it can collaborate with the Indonesian police in Papua, Auirap stated.

During his visit to Papua Province, he and several West Sepik government officials visited the Doyo Penitentiary in Jayapura District where 110 PNG citizens are being sentenced in connection with drug cases.

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ANTARA reported earlier that Papua police officers arrested two PNG citizens for allegedly smuggling 51 packages of marijuana from their country into Papua in the early morning of Thursday, March 21, 2024.

They were arrested at around 2:15 a.m. local time in the neighborhood of Hamadi Hanurata, Jaya Selatan Sub-district, Jayapura City.

The suspects, identified as Junior Lenga and Rindox, carried 51 packages of marijuana that they had concealed in four sacks of rice.

The police investigators found that Junior Lenga was in the Jayapura city police's priority watch list, as he had escaped from the Abepura Penitentiary when jailed in connection with a drug smuggling case.

On March 22, 2021, police officers in Papua also arrested a citizen of PNG on early Monday, March 22, 2021, for being allegedly involved in a cross-border drug trafficking network.

The police personnel confiscated five sacks of marijuana from the detainee, named Gadafi Kuentaw Waropo, 18.

He was apprehended in Many Island of Jayapura Selatan Sub-district, Jayapura City, following the arrest of Beny Toway Waropo, 28.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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