Solomon Kantha

Kantha refutes Minister’s claims

In a statement issued on December 12, Kantha said the allegations of him walking out with three suitcases filled with sensitive files was a blatant lie by the Minister to tarnish his reputation.

Kantha said he is considering filing defamatory proceedings in Court against the Minister for issuing a baseless and fabricated media statement on the reasons for revocation of his appointment. 

Kantha’s appointment illegal, says Minister

Minister Nukundj said the Office of the State Solicitor has not given the legal clearance for the appointment of Kantha as Chief Migration Officer citing serious flaws and omissions and there was no valid contract of employment between him and the State, as his appointment was illegal.

Nukundj said he was not on the shortlist of candidates recommended by Ministerial Executive Appointment Committee (MEAC) at that material time.

New visa fees announced

The new MSF fees were approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) last year but the implementation was pending the introduction of the new online payment facility.

Kantha said the new fees provide a standard rate in USD for visa fees charged by ICA domestically and by PNG Diplomatic Missions abroad, allowing clients applying for a visa in any country to pay the same amount regardless of the value of their currency or fluctuations in exchange rate. The new fees will be implemented effective from 01 November 2019.

New eVisa products introduced

“Anyone around the world with access to internet can visit our website: to access the eVisa Application Portal and lodge their eVisa application online. This enables clients to receive their eVisa instantly,” said Kantha.

Chief Migration Officer clarifies centre’s role

“There has been considerable speculation regarding the new Centre and I wish to correct the record. The Centre is a stand-alone, purpose-built facility.

“The operationalisation of the BIC is a significant step in the operational capabilities of PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority. While it is correct that the first persons detained at the Centre are failed asylum seekers who refuse to depart PNG, we will use the BIC to ensure any individual found in breach of our immigration laws is available for removal or voluntary departure.

Immigration aware of self-harm cases

Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, has advised that they are aware of the increase in self-harm incidences in Manus by refugees and have taken steps to mitigate them.

Solomon Kantha said they observed an increase in self-harm incidences in recent weeks, after the Liberal Party won the elections in Australia.

“With the recent change in political leadership in PNG, these incidents have again increased to seek attention to their plight,” stated Kantha.

Convicted foreigners not reported to Immigration

In a statement the ICA says it stands ready to assist relevant law enforcement agencies.

The ICA says whilst there are numerous reports of non-citizens involved in illegal activities with some being prosecuted and fined by the Courts, details of these non-citizens convicted are not reported to Immigration.

Paedophile refused entry into PNG

Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, reported the individual had been convicted of assault on a child in their country of origin and had sought to enter PNG last week.

Kantha said “Foreign criminals are not welcome in our country. This person sought to enter PNG as a tourist, but we can only speculate as to his real motivations. I would like to praise the work of ICA Borders, Enforcement and Compliance staff at Jackson's International Airport.

Seven foreign nationals convicted in Kokopo

In a statement, Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, said: “The Immigration and Citizenship Authority will not tolerate any foreigners who breach the Migration Act and are working unlawfully in PNG.

“If we find you residing or working in breach of your visa conditions, you will be charged and removed from this country.”

Kantha sounded this warning following the successful conviction of six Malaysians and a Chinese national in Kokopo for breaching their visa conditions by working for another company, under the visa of a different employer.

Temporary suspension on visa on arrival

This was announced by Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, to all commercial airlines that travel in PNG airspace.

The ban will be in place for a month.

In a circular notice on October 12th to Air Niugini, PNG Air, Qantas, Philippine Airlines and Virgin Australia, the Chief Migration Officer said the temporary suspension of visa on arrival applies to all passports and nationalities.

The temporary ban commences from 30th October 2018 to 30 November 2018.