The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and other law enforcement agencies are increasing their presence at the Solomon Islands – Papua New Guinea common border region from the Shortland Islands, Choiseul Province and the Malaita Outer Islands with arrival of the patrol boat Gizo in the western border region carrying more police, Immigration, Customs and Health Officers.
The increased presence is to enforce the COVID-19 Emergency Powers restricting the movement of small craft vessels across the SI-PNG common border region which became effective last Thursday 9 April 2020.
Acting Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau explains, “Under the Order all small craft vessels must not leave Solomon Islands by crossing the border, enter Solomon Islands by crossing the border and if the small craft vessel enters Solomon Islands by crossing the border, it must not remain in Solomon Islands but must immediately leave Solomon Islands moving back across the border.”
“As part of the enforcement of the Order the patrol Gizo is expected to arrive in the western border region this tonight with more police officers including officers of the Police Response Team (PRT) as well as Immigration, Customs and Health officers. This is to support other officers who are already on the ground in the Shortland Islands, Choiseul and Malaita Outer Islands,” says Acting Commissioner Mangau.
“I strongly appeal to our people in the common border region from the Shortland Islands, Choiseul and the Malaita Outer Islands to report any sightings of any boats crossing from Solomon Islands side of the border or coming in from the PNG side to your nearest police station or calling the RSIPF National Communication Centre on the toll free line 999.” “Let us all work together to enforce these Orders declared by our Government under the State of Public Emergency which was recently increased by National Parliament to four months. Despite the restrictive nature of these Orders on the normal lives of our people we must understand we are not living under normal times. All our lives are endangered by this killer COVID-19. Together with our Government we must stop this killer virus from entering our borders,” Acting Commissioner Mangau emphasizes.