11 Sep 2006

Illegal immigrants enter PNG via Hong Kong - report

1:44 pm on 11 September 2006

Reports from Papua New Guinea say foreigners are entering the country illegally and allowed to go free.

The Post Courier newspaper says the problem has come to the fore with the re-introduction of direct flights to and from Hong Kong.

Officials say this is because there is no immigration lock-up facility and no direct and same-day flights back to overseas destinations.

The paper quotes one official as saying that more than 20 people from Asia have been coming into the country without proper documentation.

The official alleges that PNG's overseas offices approve these people without thoroughly checking their documents.

There have been calls for tougher laws amid claims that there are about 10,000 illegal immigrants in the country.