K36 million drug haul, PNG Police apprehend four men with drugs

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Two Papua New Guineans and their two Malaysian counterparts have been arrested in a drug bust in Port Moresby.

Altogether 125 kilograms of methamphetamine or crystal meth was confiscated in the raid by the Trans National Crime Unit at 2am Thursday morning.

PNG Police Commissioner David Manning called the drugs as ‘a serious growing threat’ to the country.

The estimated street value of the drugs is K36 million (AUD$15m).

This is the fourth drug bust by police within two years brings to total 893kg in Cocaine and Methamphetamine that has been confiscated by police worth a total of K285 million (US$80 million) with Police Commissioner David Manning saying that PNG is the ‘safe house’ and ‘transit point of the movement of hard drugs’ from outside countries into Australia and within the Pacific.

While the city slept, the four suspects were surprised by anti Trans National Crime drug units after the execution of a search warrant on an address in the city.

“A small quantity was sent via a postal service from overseas and following the trail, partners overseas alerted the Trans National unit.

The unit got a search warrant and executed the warrant picking up the four men.”

“The men when apprehended led the police investigators to the rest of the drugs,” Commissioner Manning said.

“We will be ensuring we charge the men under the new Dangerous Drugs amendments and will look at the possible charges to send a strong message to all these syndicates that we are now able to deal with you to international standards.”

This drug arrest is the result of intelligence information shared between various stakeholders and I want to commend DCP-Special Projects Donald Yamasombi and the Trans National Crime Directorate for their efforts in these arrests he added

Pictures provided to the Post-Courier shows the Meth packed into various bags with the weight of each crystal powder labelled on the bag as police continue their investigations.

The initial lab test here in the city has tested positive for crystal meth and we will be sending the drug haul into Australia to be further tested, Commissioner Manning said.

“We are not taking this shift in transnational crime that is now including citizens of this country lightly, this is a serious threat and we will be using all our powers to deal with the four men in custody,” Commissioner Manning said.

“The movement of this drugs threatens our borders and our people, it is a danger to the future of this country and we will be sitting with all stakeholders to give us a better understanding of how we can work in better collaboration to stop this movement of drugs.”

Commissioner Manning said that he would be briefing the Prime Minister James Marape after he arrives back into Port Moresby from Thailand where he is attending the APEC Leaders Summit.

“We will be giving our recommendations on how best we deal with combating the shipment of drugs into the country.”

“We want to also recommend how we can best deal with the custodial issues of such drugs which is an ongoing challenge for us,” Commissioner Manning said.

Police continue their investigations.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS