1 Jun 2005

PNG controversy over arms seizure during import moratorium

3:56 pm on 1 June 2005

There is controversy in Papua New Guinea over a consignment of high-powered firearms confiscated by police at the international airport in March.

The weapons and 500 rounds of ammunition arrived in Port Moresby on a flight from Singapore amid a moratorium on firearms.

The police commissioner, Sam Inguba, who is also the Registrar of Firearms, has denied knowledge of or approving any new licenses for firearms to anyone.

But unnamed police officer told the newspaper, The National, that the arms cache was addressed to a business associated with a prominent citizen, and had the approval of a very senior police officer.

The officer says he has all the documents to prove the illegality of the whole arms import.

Another police officer says such firearms are for military purposes only and even security companies in the country should not be allowed to be armed with such weapons.