Mobile squad tipped off on illicit spirits

Mobile squad 18 operating on Manus Island have confiscated a large quantity of homebrew on a boat travelling into Lorengau town.

PPC Manus Chief Inspector David Yapu said the section of mobile squad, under the command of sergeant Steven Karmi and Senior Constable Herman Ipai, whilst on routine patrol were tipped off on a boat coming into town to sell homebrew. 

When the boat arrived at the boatshed, police searched it and confiscated 41 containers of homebrew; illicit spirit in 600ml plastic containers.

The operator of the boat, who was also the owner of the homebrew, jumped out of the boat and swam out to sea.

Police were assisted by another boat and eventually arrested him and brought him to the station.

PPC Yapu said the suspect, Smith Popom, age 30 of mixed parentage East New Britain and Manus, was arrested and charged for being in possession of homebrew, and locked up in the cells. 

Yapu said during the interrogation, the suspect admitted that the homebrew were brewed at Buliso village in the Bupi-Chupen-Lelemadih LLG and taken to town for sale.

Yapu said 1 plastic 600ml homebrew was sold for K20 or more depending on their grades.

“He could have earned more than K1,000 for the sales of those homebrew,” stated the PPC.

He commended the mobile squad 18 for exceptional work.

Yapu once again appealed to community leaders and the public to work together with police and provide information on homebrew and drug activities which are becoming prevalent in the town.

“We must work together to eradicate those illegal activities in our community and town and make it a safe and conducive environment to live in,” he said.

(From right: Sgt Steven Karmi and Senior constable Herman Ipai with MS 18 members)

Press release