TWO police officers from Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been arrested and charged in PNG for crossing the border between Bougainville and Shortland Islands in Western Province.
Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said the two officers from Bougainville crossed over to Shortland to deliver food to a brother of a police officer who was married to a Shortland islander.
“When our police arrived, they had already returned to Bougainville,” Mangau said.
He said Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) communicated with police in Bougainville who then arrested and charged the two officers.
Mangau explained that since the two officers were arrested in Bougainville, they will be dealt with by their State of Emergency regulation.
He added that PNG also had declared a state of emergency at their borders.
“The penalties applied in PNG for crossing the border are the same as ours,” Mangau added.
He said had the two officers were arrested and charged here, they would be dealt with under our SOE regulations.
Mangau further added that our borders are open and so people at the borders used to travel at odd hours.
“They came very early, dropped off whatever they came with and then took off.
“People know that the border is closed during the day time and so they crossed at odd hours.
“…so the police are now trying to change and improve the way in which they managed the border and to look at closing the gaps.”
The maximum penalty imposed for vessels or small crafts less than 10 meters crossing the Western Border under the state of emergency period is a fine of 1million or 29 years imprisonment or both.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN