Criminals running logging firms in PNG
ANDREW ALPHONSE in the Post Courier
LOGGING companies in this country are run and owned by ‘foreign criminals Mafias’ who have no regard for the laws of this sovereign nation.
Oro Governor Garry Juffa said this during a press conference early Wednesday morning. He later raised the same during Question Time in Parliament.
Governor Juffa said foreign logging companies are hell-bent to exploit our virgin forests without any compliance to the rules and laws governing timber operations in the country.
He said with their no-care attitude, they also use our very own police force against fellow citizens of this country. Governor Juffa said this after policemen engaged by a Malaysian logging company in Oro last week assaulted, arrested and locked up 17 local landowners who protested over illegal logging of their customary forest.
Governor Juffa said the particular logging firm is illegal conducting logging at the Yamagapa area bordering Morobe and Oro which is not in their licensed area of logging as permitted by the National Forest Authority (NFA).
He said several times when landowners protested over these illegal logging in their area, the company uses police who employ heavy- handed tactics like beating and locking them up including dishing out inhuman treatments. Governor Juffa said policemen, state agencies in Oro like FNA officers and other line agencies are turning a blind -eye to the situation and as frustration is building up, the worst is imminent as landowners are already fed- up and willing to take law into their own lands.
See also: No more PNG police at logging sites
Governor Juffa demanded the NFA to immediately revoke the license of this company and have them deported adding that logging has being in operation in Oro for nearly 20 years but there is no economic return for the landowners and the provincial governments. He said all that is left is over 100 hectares of barren land not even reforested.
“I say even is enough and under my watch and leadership, I will stop all illegal logging in Oro,” Governor Juffa said.
In Parliament on Wednesday, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuresia said that he is aware of the logging incident and has advised his office to give the company a show- cause notice to explain.
He said officers have also being sent to investigate the allegations and a report of their findings would be made available to Governor Juffa soon.