Vessels and small crafts caught crossing the common border between Western Province and Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (PNG) will face a fine of $1million or 20 years imprisonment or both.
Acting Police Chief Mostyn Mangau revealed this at the commissioner’s weekly conference, Thursday.
“During this State of Emergency we also understand there are emergency zones declared for the Solomon Islands and PNG border,” Mr. Mangau said.
“These regulations stop any vessel or any small craft less than 10 meters which means banana boats are included (outboard motor engine) and the penalty is quite high.”
The penalty is $1 million fine or 20 years imprisonment or both for anyone breaching the regulation issued that declared the Western border with PNG as emergency zone under this State of Emergency,” he added.
“If anyone crosses the border, you must be prepared to face the consequences,” he said.
Mangau said police increased the number of police officers at our border for the security and safety of our people and urged communities at the border to support the police as well.
He said the deployment of officers and a patrol boat to the Western border was done over the weekend.
He further added that other agencies such as the Health, Immigration, Customs, and Bio-securities or other agencies crucial in terms of this COVID-19 were also deployed with the police to the Solomon Islands and PNG border.
“They are deployed to assist police to ensure this emergency zone regulation is enforced to protect our people from contracting the coronavirus.”
Mangau said there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in Rabaul, PNG.
“Rabaul is near Bougainville and the chances for it to reach our country through the Western border is quite high.
“So the police deployed its officers to ensure that no one is crossing the border between Bougainville and Western Province.”
He called on upon the people in Choiseul and Western Province as well as Malaita, in Malaita outer Islands to cooperate and work together with the police.
“Community participation is urged to support the government’s call and support government agencies to make sure that we are free from this COVID-19,” he said.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN