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PNG Authorities nab 27 Malaysians in Oro province

 PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority and Police Detectives from National Fraud and Anti corruption Directorate engaged in the special investigation nabbed a total of 27 foreigners all Malaysians in Wanigela, Oro province. 

The investigation team travelled six hours by dingy into the open sea and further one hour by road to reach Wanigela which is located at the border of Oro and Milne Bay Provinces. 

Wanigela located along the Collingwood Bay is home to one of PNG's biggest logging operations.

During the inspection the team established that all foreigners had no visas and work permits.

Also there was no copy of any IPA and forestry documents produced to justify logging operations in the area. 

The Investigation team said most of the foreigners cannot speak English nor pidgin, making communication very difficult. 

Attempts to contact the company head office in Port Moresby was unsuccessful as communication in and out of Wanigela area is out of reach as the only Digicel tower was vandalized three months ago according to the investigation team.

Immigration and Border security Minister Westly Nukundj said since the start of operation code name Restorim Kaiva a total of 44 foreigners have been apprehended in Musa, Poru, Ipane, Sangara and Wanigela, 21 of them have been arrested and charged whilst another 27 are currently undergoing investigation to establish their documents in Port Moresby.  

Minister Nukundj said visa and work permits agents operated by both PNG and foreigners are contributing to all the discrepancies as many of the agents submit fraudulent documents and qualifications for their clients to obtain work and entry visas.

"I will start to regulate visa agents and since I sanction the special investigation team led by Mr. John Bria, four (4) PNG nationals operating freelance visa agent business have already being arrested, “ Nukundj said.

Several immigration officers colluding with them were arrested and suspended after the investigation team found out that a total of 170 fake visas were issued over time since early 2019.

This sanction Investigation will continue throughout the country in areas identified as hot spots which are considered threat to national security.

Statement/FM100/PNG Today

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