New Smuggling Route Discovered From Papua New Guinea To Australia

By @Shayani92 on
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IN PHOTO: Sittwe, MyanmarA Rohingya Muslim man carries containers of water in front of boats near a jetty at a refugee camp outside Sittwe, Myanmar May 21, 2015. Scores of Myanmar's minority Rohingya Muslims are paying off people smugglers and returning to the squalid camps they used to live in after being held for months on overcrowded ships that were to take them to Thailand but did not move far from shore. A crackdown on the people-smuggling network in Thailand, usually the first stop en route to Malaysia, has meant that at least three ships loaded with hundreds of Rohingya and impoverished Bangladeshis were staying off the coast of Myanmar, they said. Those who came back said the crews beat them with metal rods and engine chains when they asked for more food. Many were starving, surviving on three cups of water and two handfuls of rice a day for up to three months. Picture taken May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Amid all the accusations of indulging in the act of bribery to turn back the boatload of asylum seekers, Australia has a new issue to worry about. According to the police of Papua New Guinea (PNG), smugglers are helping migrants to get to Australia via new routes from PNG.

ABC reported that three Indian men more likely to be economic migrants were taken into the custody because they were making an attempt to get a boat to the Country travelling from PNG along the south-west coastline. However, actual nature of their occupation could not be confirmed. PNG police said that Daru a town in PNG has become a hotspot for people involved in drug peddling and smuggling of guns. They announced that the reason behind the rise of such crimes could be the “proximity to Australia.”

PNG police commissioner Gari Baki reported that Daru has always been a spot of illegal activities because of its secluded location which makes it hard for the agencies to investigate. Police reports further confirmed that Torres Strait connects a small group of islands from the northern most tip of Queensland to PNG while the Australian territory of Saibai Island is just four kilometres away from the shores of PNG. Daru could be used as a transit point because of the porous border with Indonesia, said commissioner Baki. He cited the examples of Africans who often have been caught using this illegal route.

Saiwa Ricker, police station commander of Daru confirmed with the ABC that those indian men were not the first lot who tried to use the route for smuggling purposes. One of the accused men was named “Sondhi Nima,” informed Inspector Ricker. The identity could be easily traced as he updated his plan of action on Facebook whereas the other two had been working for contactors under a project led by ExxonMobil, however, that could not be confirmed. 

Global Post reported that last october Australian Federal Police exposed a crime syndicate trying to trade firearms from Australia to score marijuana and chemicals needed for methamphetamine.

Contact the writer on priya.shayani@gmail.com.