Assistant Commissioner of Police and Boarder Commander, Donald Yamasombi has called onthe West Sepik Provincial Government and the District Authorities forassistance to refurbish the condemned Aitape Police Station Cellblock.
The AitapePolice Lockup cell was condemned by the District Environment Health Officer onJuly 22 following an inspection on the May 6 this year.
Following thecondemnation notice, 21 prisoners were relocated and ferried on two hiredbanana boats across the sea to Vanimo Police station.
ACP Yamasombisays there is no road link to Vanimo, and the only way to bring the prisonersto Vanimo is to ferry them across the sea.
To ferry theprisoners across the sea to the Vanimo takes a two hour journey and theCommander says it places a risk to the prisoners and is also very costly.
“Anything can happen along the way and becausesome of them are still awaiting trail we do not want to place their lives indanger given these circumstances,” Assistant Commissioner Yamasombi said.
The cellblocks were built in the 1980s and have not been refurbished since.
Mr Yamasombisaid the police do not have boats of their own at Wewak, and the ferrying ofprisoners with banana boats to Vanimo is very costly.
“We would like the district authorities tolook into the matter and come to our assistance immediately,” ACP Yamasombisaid.
Meanwhile ACPYamasombi said there has also been an influx of illegal immigrants fromIndonesia. The lack of patrol boats along the border area has allowed easyundetected access for the illegal immigrants.
On the July19 three Indonesians adults and one juvenile crossed the border by boat toWutung where the PNG Defence Force based at the checkpoint apprehended them andbrought them to the police station.
They havebeen arrested and charged according to the PNG Migration Act and have been sentencedto three months hard labor and fined K2000 in cash each.
ACP Yamasombisaid boats and dinghies are needed to boost the capability of the police at theborder.
“Police doesnot have the capability to boarder the sea surrounding the Indonesian Boarderand again we call on the District Authorities to help us look into the matter,”ACP Yamasombi said.
Copyright (c) 2017 Royal Papua New Guinea.