27 Oct 2007

PNG government minister says weak laws allow foreigners to enter PNG illegally

9:35 am on 27 October 2007

Papua New Guinea's foreign affairs and Immigration minister says foreigners are able to enter and stay in PNG illegally with ease because of the country's weak laws and lack of enforcement.

Sam Abal told the National newspaper that the enforcement agencies lacked the resources because of insufficient funding.

He added that for a start, he would clean up the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Department even it required closing it down for a month.

He says he would restructure the department, review the policies and get weak laws amended to ensure prevention of corruption, efficiency and restore the public's confidence.

Mr Abal says when the restructure is approved by the Department of Personnel Management sometime in December, new young graduates will be employed.

Sam Abal, who served in the department in the 1980s, says he had spoken to authorities in three countries who had indicated that they were prepared to assist in the training.

Mr Abal said the department was a very important arm of the Government and could help to provide a positive image of the country.