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Authorities investigating possible drug smuggling syndicate

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PNG authorities are investigating a possible drug smuggling syndicate operating in the country, the Post Courier reported, after an airline passenger was caught trying to transport drugs. However, their efforts have been hindered by reports in the media.

Customs Commissioner, Ray Paul, said reports in the media last week have pushed the ring leader into hiding. He said the newspaper concerned should have consulted with his department before running the story.

He said newspaper reports were also inaccurate as the purported value of US$20 million or K61. 1 million was way off target. He added that the drugs actually weighed in around 2kg with a street value of K1 million.

Mr. Paul further said a balance had to be reached between freedom of speech and effective law enforcement so that media gets their news while law breakers are put behind bars.

Customs and Quarantine officials intercepted the package last month after x-ray scans revealed organic matter in a passenger’s luggage.