12 Feb 2007

Claims PNG Ministers helped foreigners to illegally enter the country

8:22 pm on 12 February 2007

Papua New Guinea's Labour Department says senior government ministers have been "giving a helping hand" to illegal immigrants to the country to conduct businesses.

The Post Courier newspaper reports this is one of the findings of the Labour Department's major crack-down on illegal business operators in the country.

The operation is being carried out nationwide in various industries including logging, mining and retail/wholesale businesses.

So far, it has uncovered evidence of these persons living in the country illegally and breaching immigration and labour laws.

In East New Britain, Labour secretary David Tibu and his officers are finalising papers to prosecute three Chinese who were conducting businesses without work permits and four businesses for employing non-citizens illegally.

The department has also carried out checks at the Ramu nickel/ cobalt mine, which revealed serious non-compliance issues and breaches of labour laws and regulations by the developer.

Mr Tibu said it was serious that certain leaders were helping the perpetrators to enter the country.