Hiritano PMV operators question police

The issue of illegal roadblocks and excessive road fines by police was raised this morning by disgruntled Hiritano Highway PMV operators.

Operators from the route 400 and 600 gathered at the main bus stop at Waigani to speak to media after continuous harassment by police personnel in unmarked vehicles along their routes.

Josephine Salmang, an operator from route 400 which runs from Kairuku to Port Moresby, spoke about how difficult it is to make ends meet each time police hold up her drivers and demand road fines from as much as K100 to K300. There are no receipts issued with the cops standing at odd locations during odd hours along the highway.

Mrs Salmang called on the police authorities, especially the provincial commander, to look into the issue and allow businesses to operate without the threat and intimidation of police.

Francis Maa, who drives the route 600 from Kerema to Moresby, also spoke about how police keep holding them up at odd hours and demanding exorbitant fees.

He said as small business owners, it was hard for them to be able to carry out their operations when faced with constant harassment from law enforcers.

Meantime, the Central police commander, Sibron Papoto, says he is aware of the issue and will look into the matter after consultation with his rural police commanders.

For now the matter is being looked at with police.

Julianna Waeda