21 May 2019

Armed officers deployed to Solomons border with PNG

4:02 pm on 21 May 2019

Police in Solomon Islands have deployed armed officers to the Shortland Islands to help secure the maritime border it shares with Papua New Guinea.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

The move is in response to several armed robberies that have occurred in the northwestern Solomons in recent months.

The robberies are alleged to have involved criminals from Bougainville, the eastern most province of PNG.

Solomons police said the deployment of armed officers to the border will continue until a permanent presence can be established.

Strengthening policing along the porous border was a major feature of a meeting between the heads of police of both countries in PNG last week.

Communities on both sides of the border share family, cultural and trade ties and special passes are available to facilitate freedom of movement between the islands.

But criminal elements appear to have also exploited this situation with the latest armed robbery occurring in February at Maleai village in the Shortlands.

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