FOREIGNERS ENGAGED IN HUMAN SMUGGLING DEPORTED.
The Sunday Bulletin | By SIMON ERORO | SUNDAY 1st MARCH, 2020.
A total of 10 foreigners who have been classified as threats to PNG’s national security will be deported.
Last Thursday members of the Immigration Multi Taskforce Investigation Team escorted the first two foreigners, identified as Kabria Golam and Fozlul Hoque from Bangladesh, into a plane to return to their country.
The Sunday Bulletin confirmed that the decision to begin deportation came after the taskforce, comprising officials from Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA), Labour Department, PNG Customs and Police, apprehended many foreigners who were suspected of being involved in illegal activities.
The ICA now under the leadership of Minister Westley Nukundi Nukundj and acting Chief Migration Officer Robert Barra Kennedy have stepped up border control and strict enforcement of immigration laws on unscrupulous foreigners.
This newspaper understands that several PNG citizens have also been arrested in the crackdown for aiding and harbouring illegal foreigners.
Mr Kennedy said the Immigration Department was also cleaning up internally and those immigration officers found to be compromising their duties would face the dire consequences. He also warned PNG citizens not to harbour illegal foreigners and foreigners to refrain from conducting illegal activities.
Mr Kennedy added that with the taskforce investigation team in place, many illegal activities of the foreigners had come to light and some immigration officers had been suspended and arrested for their involvement.
Minister Nukundj said the deportation exercise started with the two key figures in a human smuggling racket that had being operating “under our nose”.
He urged foreigners to respect laws while working and conducting their businesses in PNG.
“We are here to facilitate trade and foreign investment and welcome genuine foreign investment to stimulate economic growth by creating opportunities for our citizens and not fly-by-night investors who want to rob the nation of its resources and abuse our citizens,” Mr Nukundj said.
“Our citizens are crying out there of abuse and we as a government must respond to their cries and restore the confidence of our citizens in the system.
This is the first deportation exercise under Mr Nukundj’s watch and more would follow continue as the taskforce investigation team visits other parts of the country.
Picture Caption below: Members of the Immigration Multi – Taskforce led by team leader John Bria Escorting the deportees into Jacksons International Terminal on Thursday.