February 18, 2014


Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, has raised serious concern over the movement of foreigners in the country, conducting illegal activities.

He said this, following the arrest of an American in Port Moresby, Keith Webb, found with one-point-six-million Bougainville Kina in a briefcase, after arriving from Manila, Philippines.

Southern Highlands Governor, William Powi raised the matter in Parliament during question time, this morning.

"Two days ago we see very alarming newspaper reports about some foreigner bringing in some suitcase full of cash in foreign currency, and also others interfering in this process that we are managing in this country.

"I think the Government needs to take very serious steps in dealing with these kinds of people who are interfering with our business of running this country, and so I want the relevant minister or the Prime Minister to explain to the people of this country what the Government is doing, so we set the pace and scene in this country," Governor Powi said.

The Prime Minister told Parliament, this money is not a legal tender in P-N-G and Bougainville, adding relevant authorities are dealing with the foreigner.

"The American citizen has been arrested and will appeared before the courts, and certainly will be tried according to our laws.

"Thjs just goes to highlight the need for Government to be involved more in Bougainville.

"We have seen from past experiences that there has been a lot of what I classify as "carpet beggars", fly-in fly-out businessmen and women who are after quick money, getting into Bougainville and misleading our people.

"Mr. Speaker we need to regulate the control of foreigners who are entering Bougainville and we will be working closely with the ABG.

"I will shortly be sending out advice to our Foreign Affairs that all persons who want to visit Bougainville must have a clearance from our Government and that of the ABG before they travel to Bougainville," Mr. O'Neil said.

Author: verified_user