31 Mar 2004

Police arrest six PNG soldiers in operation to counter arms smuggling

3:16 pm on 31 March 2004

Police in Papua New Guinea have arrested eight people, including six serving soldiers, in an investigation into arms smuggling.

The Post Courier newspaper reports seven are being held on remand at Bomana prison outside Port Moresby, and one was released on bail.

Baggage handlers at Jackson's Airport found six high-powered rifles and more than 9-hundred rounds of ammunition, believed to have been bound for the Southern Highlands region.

Police at the airport confiscated the weapons, which had been stolen from the defence force armoury at Murray Barracks.

Police central commander Tony Wagambie says police and the military are making inquiries which are progressing smoothly.

He says some people are yet to be interviewed and more arrests are expected to be made soon.

In other developments, a man has appeared in court after he allegedly took a pistol on board an aircraft at Jackson's Airport