Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border security task force intensifies prevention of cross-border smuggling of prohibited goods from PNG into the Indonesian province of Papua, an army officer said.

To this end, the task force's personnel stationed at the Sawiyatami military post in Mannem Subdistrict, Keerom District, stopped every vehicle passing through the Trans-Papua highway of the Sawiyatami section, and checked the goods they carried.

"We thoroughly check every car and motorcycle passing the military post," the Sawiyatami military post commandant, Second Sergeant Rahmat Andika Sitorus, said in a press statement made available to ANTARA here Saturday.

The task force personnel, who belong to the 122/Tombak Sakti Infantry Battalion, also checked the drivers and motorists' identities and reminded them of the importance of safe driving, he said, adding that any suspicious freight would thoroughly be checked.

The security checks on the vehicles would prevent the smuggling of prohibited goods and infiltrators to make local residents of Sawiyatami Village continue to live peacefully, Sitorus added.

ANTARA reported earlier that the Indonesia-PNG border remains vulnerable to cross-border criminal activities, including trafficking of marijuana.

In the early morning of Thursday, March 21, 2024, Papua police officers, for instance, arrested two PNG citizens for allegedly smuggling 51 packages of marijuana from their country into Papua.

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 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.

To fight against cross-border drug trafficking operations, PNG Police in West Sepik Province has sought collaboration with the Indonesian police in Papua.

A total of 110 PNG citizens are being sentenced in connection with drug cases in the Doyo Penitentiary in Jayapura District.

Related news: Papua Police arrest two PNG citizens for allegedly smuggling marijuana
Related news: Indonesian customs confiscates 5.6 tons of drugs in 2023

Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Arie Novarina
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