16 Oct 2020

FSM weapons seizures seen as sign enforcement is working

2:52 pm on 16 October 2020

A spate of confiscations of illegal weapons and ammunition in the Federated States of Micronesia is a sign cooperative law enforcement is working, according to authorities.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Several such shipments have been intercepted over the past few months.

Last month, during a routine inspection of containers in Yap State undeclared boxes of gun parts, a bow and multiple arrows were found.

Earlier this month, 6,000 rounds of ammunition were found during a a similar inspection in Pohnpei State.

The discoveries come after two other cases involving the illegal importation of ammunition were brought before the courts.

The first such case in August, resulted in Quleen Saimon being convicted for the offence of illegally importing ammunition in a passenger's checked-in luggage.

The second such case occurred last month, where Watson Panuel was convicted for the illegal importation of ammunition through the FSM Post Office.

Senior official, Eugene Amor, said all the cases reflected the cooperative work being carried out by Customs, Police, and the Attorney General to protect borders.

President of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panuelo.

President of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panuelo. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana

Following a briefing on the subject, President David Panuelo, applauded the Division of Customs & Tax Administration for their efforts in keeping the FSM safe from dangerous and illegal imports, and the FSM Department of Justice for their thorough and capable investigations and prosecutions.

"The FSM is a Nation of laws," Panuelo said.

"One of the most elemental roles any Government plays is to keep its citizens and residents safe from internal and external threats, whether those threats are either invisible or abstract, such as Covid-19 or socio-economic inequities, or highly visible and concrete, such as illegal weapons and ammunition.

The president said life was already proving stressful enough for people who were dealing with the effects of economic hardship during the Pandemic.

"As a society, we don't need, want, or deserve to have such visible and concrete threats to our peace, unity, and liberty, and so I applaud our Customs Officers for their diligence in their duty to protecting our country."