PNG Allegedly has 15 Meth Labs, Owned by Foreigners Intelligence Reports

Intelligence reports have revealed that Papua New Guinea (PNG) allegedly has more than 15 clandestine methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories, with seven of them operating in the nation’s capital, Port Moresby. Other labs are reportedly located in Lae, Morobe Province, Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province, and Kimbe, West New Britain Province. These labs are allegedly owned by foreigners and are operating with strong connections. PNG nationals are reportedly the major runners for these foreign-owned labs, which have increased over the years.

Despite this, the head of the illicit and narcotic investigation team, Acting Deputy Commissioner Donald Yamasombi, said that there are no specific locations of laboratories operating in the country, according to their intelligence reports. He added that PNG serves as a transit point for these drugs, which find their way out to Australia and New Zealand.

Recent arrests of eight suspects in the Black Flight from Bulolo, Morobe Province, to Australia allegedly carrying 52kg of meth hidden in duffel bags worth over AUD$15 million (K35 million) highlight the severity of the issue. The suspects are currently detained at Buimo jail and will appear in court next month. The investigation is being carried out by operations led by the PNG Police and Australian Federal Police.

According to a reliable source, these clandestine laboratories are usually carried out secretly and run by organized gangs to produce illicit drugs for distribution on the black market. Meth is locally produced by extracting its primary base from pharmaceutical drugs, such as aspirin and other painkillers, and then combining them with other chemicals to produce the final product.

The source added that a gram of meth on the black market costs K2000 (US$566), and the item is becoming popular with youths who are developing a taste for it. Meth has a psycho-stimulating effect and is a powerful stimulant that produces a sense of false well-being and increases alertness and energy. In contrast, cocaine is derived from the coca plant found only in South America and is coming into PNG from overseas and being sold on the black market.

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