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PNG Drug Traffic Laws 'Weak'

The recent plane crash and drugs seizure at Papa Lealea in Central Province has put the spotlight on the need for tougher laws for the country, in relation to drug trafficking offences among others.

In PNG, drug trafficking offences carry a minimum of 2 years imprisonment while in Australia, it’s up to 25 years in prison or life imprisonment.

Police Commissioner David Manning while acknowledging the country's weak laws in this regard, says the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary will be working closely with the Public Prosecutors office, and the Department of Attorney General among other legislative offices to correct this.

“Our current legislative framework is quite weak.

At this point we’ll be working closely with the Public Prosecutor, the office of the Legislative council and the Attorney General to see that we introduce new pieces of legislation to make us a bit more effective.

This is also for the law to act as a major deterrent to anyone wanting to conduct these kind of criminal activities in Papua New Guinea,” Mr. Manning said.

The pilot of the plane which was to transport 750 kilograms of cocaine out of PNG to Australia- David John Cutmore when initially arrested was charged only K3000 fine under the Immigration Act for 'Illegal Entry.'

He is however expected to be further charged under the National Pandemic Act 2020, with the seizure of the drugs now.

His five counterparts in Australia face life imprisonment if convicted, for conspiring to import these drugs.

NBC News/ PNG Today

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