Border Crossers warned

Papua New Guineans gave been warned not to cross international borders illegally, especially to the Indonesian side, as the Government is stepping up measures to prevent a potential spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister, James Marape, announced that discussions will be held with counterpart Prime Ministers from Australia and Indonesia to tighten border security.

“I’ll be speaking with the President of Indonesia. I’ve also spoken with the Prime Minister of Australia so our joint international borders will be given a step-up protection from our side as well as their side,” said Marape.

The biggest threat to PNG at this time is the Land border shared with Indonesia, which the Prime Minister Marape made special mentioned.

He warned traders, especially those in the vanilla business, that if they are caught by Indonesian forces on the other side during the shutdown of borders, they will be dealt with under Indonesian law.

“So Papua New Guineans as your Prime minister I will be speaking without fear or favour, anyone of you who want to cross to the other side, our government has made it illegal already. And if you are going to the other side and if the police on the other side pick you up and arrest you don’t cry to our government asking for you to be bailed out there.

“I’ll be asking police, immigration and customs ion Indonesia, and police and immigration and customs in Australia also to tighten our borders in the waters as well as land border on the other side," said the Prime Minister.

Marape added "Its warninig to Papua New Guineans, youy are causing our country to be endangered by coronavirus because of youyr continuous movement."

Police Commissioner and State of Emergency Controller, David Manning, said the efforts to secure land borders are already in place.

Cedric Patjole