Manus drug issue on the rise

Drug offences reported in Manus Province have increased in the last six months.

Manus PPC, Chief Inspector David Yapu, revealed that since January, 53 drug cases were reported.

Manus police say from the 53 cases reported, 24 accused were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment terms ranging from three to 12 months.

12 convicts were placed on good behaviour bond, two cases struck out while one was dismissed from court.

PPC Yapu says this sudden increase in drug cases was alarming in both Lorengau town and the villages.

The offenders are from the age group of 18 to 30 years.

Similar sentiments were raised by District Court Magistrate Francis Kalai.

They blamed it on the buai trade by boats coming from outside Provinces such as Vanimo, Wewak, Madang and Kavieng into Lorengau town.

Yapu says most offenders, when arrested, admitted the drugs were brought on the buai trade.

While police do not have reliable maritime capacity to deal with or intercept drugs out at sea coming into the province, Yapu is appealing to all stakeholders in the province and community leaders to assist them and work together to eradicate the issue.


Sally Pokiton