Papua prone to illegal border crossers due to illegal routes

Several illegal routes in the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea’s land border areas have made Papua Province prone to illegal border crossers, according to an immigration officer.

Residents living along the Indonesia-PNG border areas are among the illegal border crossers, Head of Papua Province’s Immigration Office Novianto Sulastono stated.

“Referring to reports, there are several illegal routes inside the Indonesia-PNG border areas,” he noted in a press statement that ANTARA quoted here on Monday.

The administrative areas of Jayapura City and the districts of Keerom, Pegunungan Bintang, Merauke, and Boven Digoel lie along the Indonesia-PNG land border.

The immigration authority face difficulties in stopping the arrivals of undocumented border crossers and inflow of illegal goods, including illicit drugs, he pointed out.

Border crossers include smugglers of marijuana reportedly from PNG. This cross-border drug trafficking case should be tackled through a collective endeavor, he affirmed.

Last year, the Papua Immigration Office recorded that 116 foreign nationals had faced legal sanctions and were deported.

“Some 99 of the 116 immigration violators are PNG citizens, while 17 others comprise 14 Chinese nationals, two South Korean nationals, and one US citizen,” he remarked.

Currently, Papua Province has immigration offices in Jayapura, Merauke, Timika, and Biak as well as 10 active immigration checkpoints and two cross-border posts, he stated.

Drug smugglers from PNG have become a serious threat to Papua Province.

On March 22, 2021, for instance, the Papua police apprehended two PNG citizens for smuggling marijuana packages into the Indonesian province.

The suspects are identified as Tom Klame, 33, and Gadafi Kuentaw Waropo, 18.

Klame was arrested in the Polimak 1 neighborhood area of Jayapura City, while Waropo was arrested in Many Island of Jayapura Selatan sub-district, Jayapura. Domestic and transnational drug dealers perceive Indonesia as a potential market on account of its vast population and millions of drug users.

The nation has been dragged into a state of emergency over narcotics trade and abuse, with drug trade in the country valued at nearly Rp66 trillion.

Data indicates that people from all societal levels are falling prey to drugs in the country, irrespective of their socio-economic and professional backgrounds.

 

Source: Antara News

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