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22 March 2018

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‘Unreported World, Rambao Nation’ a documentary video by Sam Kiley shows how easy it is to smuggle marijuana all the way from Enga province to Australia along oil and gas pipeline routes to Daru where it is loaded on small craft and easily sold to Australia.

The drugs are exchanged for hard cash or high powered guns like AK47s to use in the tribal wars. A smuggler involved in the illicit trade since he was small said it was so easy to operate from the PNG side of the border because the system was very weak.

The video shows how easy it is to use local islanders on both sides to operate undetected. They have been trading for as long as they've lived there anyway.

Funny how we know about these things Pat but neither governments do.

Must be a reason for that.

Covering the 2000 national elections in Daru, I met a few wantoks from Kei Town. One is half Kei and half Kiwai.

He had a boat and regaled me with tales of dangerous crossings, mostly drugs for guns, assisted by locals on both sides of the border and corrupt border and immigration officials in the islands.

Worrying, but I question the trip from Weipa to Merauke.
Did he bring a boat with him; buy one there? How much fuel required; bought locally or brought with him? Then not return - local authorities not notice? Small town, local people not notice?
500km minimum in small boat - not for me.
Indonesian authorities?

Hard to accept criticism of this sort in such a concerning area. facts would help my belief.

The Torres Strait is like a great funnel, pointing both north and south, that our dumb pollies ignore.

I don't think Mutton Dutton has ever been there.

It works in the other direction also, Phil. Remember the abduction of the Gillespie children in 1992? With their passports cancelled, and alerts at all Australian airports, how could they be taken out of Australia?

Very simple. Their father took them by road to Weipa, thence by small boat across the Torres Strait to Merauke which is just across the border from PNG, thence by plane to Malaysia.

I had a friend who used to work for the Australian Federal Police. His job was to track the drug routes from PNG through the Torres Strait.

He gave up, resigned and got a job as a teacher saying, "It's so massive it's impossible to stop. We were useless. And the smugglers had high-level contacts both sides of the border."

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