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PNG detains 50 unlawful citizens

Papua New Guinea has placed 50 unlawful citizens  into immigration detention in the newly opened Bomana Immigration Centre (BIC) in the Port Moresby.

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) says under the PNG Migration Act 1978, anyone in PNG without a valid visa is an unlawful non-citizen and is available for immigration detention and removal.

Chief Migration Officer, Mr Solomon Kantha said ICA has taken this action as a last resort.

These individuals have been aware for some time that they had no right to remain in PNG – for some, it has been 3 years or more.

ICA’s decision to detain the unlawful non-citizens was taken only after all efforts to encourage voluntary departure had failed.

Mr Kantha said despite ICA's best efforts to provide support to these individuals and encourage voluntary departure and generous financial assistance - over PGK70, 000 for each person – they have chosen to remain in PNG unlawfully.

ICA will support these men to secure travel documents for their return home and their immigration detention will cease upon their departure from PNG.

The newly opened Bomana Immigration Centre is a valuable addition to the operational capability of ICA in our role of protecting PNG's borders.

This Centre sends a clear message to those who would seek to circumvent border processes or exploit PNG's welcoming nature.

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