The Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, said this was a result of the joint agency spot check operations conducted by PNG agencies in Port Moresby in October of last year.
The last two foreigners that were apprehended and charged from the joint operation were removed last Monday after spending time in detention at Bomana Correctional Service.
"Appropriate investigations have to be conducted after charges were laid on these non-citizens and therefore it has taken the respective agencies time to confirm the breaches of their various legislation and prepare their reports.
“I have signed deportation orders after having been fully briefed on individual cases and satisfied that there were serious breaches to our laws that warrant the removal of these foreign nationals,” said Minister Thomas.
“The operations were carried out by Immigration, Customs, NCD Health and Safety Unit, Labour Department, Bank of PNG, Police, Investment Promotion Authority and the Censorship Board. Each of the agencies took appropriate action and a report was compiled by Immigration as lead agency for my review and decision.”
The unlawful non-citizens had not only breached the conditions of their visa such as overstay or working in positions contrary to their visa and work permit, but also committed other serious offences.
Immigration will further investigate the businesses involved in recruiting them and will take appropriate action on those that are running those businesses.
“Some of the offences and issues fall outside of the mandate of Immigration and it is recommended for agencies involved to take appropriate action as well against those foreign-owned businesses,” said the Minister.
“I commend the efforts made by Immigration and other State agencies who cooperatively did a remarkable operation to identify those who breached the Migration Act and the laws of the country and take necessary action.
“This number indicates that there are many foreign nationals who do business in our country without regard to our laws and visa regulations and we will continue to conduct similar joint agency operations in Port Moresby and other provinces.
“I would like to remind all non-citizens working and residing in the country that we value your contribution to the country but there are businesses and individuals that continue to breach our laws at the expense of genuine businesses and citizens of this country.
“We are currently reviewing our laws to ban foreigners and exclude them for a number of years from returning to the country if they breach the Migration Act or commit serious offences and the Immigration and Citizenship Authority will ensure that these changes to our laws are in place by this year,” stressed Minister Thomas.