Pacific news in brief for October 18

Papua New Guinea – firearms

Papua New Guinea Police say two members of parliament and one former governor are allegedly involved in the proliferation of firearms and ammunition.

The Post Courier reports 18 men were arrested in the last nine weeks over their alleged involvement in the movement, selling and buying of over 6,000 firearms and ammunitions.

Four have been convicted.

Police are alleging a rise in illegal weapons and ammunitions trade in the Highlands region, and particularly in Western Highlands and Jiwaka province, and not only the involvement of several politicians but also members of the disciplinary forces.

According to information received, there is a surge in firearm-related offences, particularly ongoing violence and repeated tribal killings in volatile Highlands provinces.

Papua New Guinea – investors

Papua New Guinea Mining vice-minister James Donald has invited investors from Asia to invest in new projects in the country.

The National newspaper reports Mr Donald saying most, if not all, the minerals produced by PNG were consumed by the Asian market.

This was during the PNG-Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Donald said PNG was highly prospective and there were many newer mineral deposits to be discovered.

Samoa – court

Twelve men from Lefagaoali’i in Samoa have been referred to the Supreme Court after a man was hog-tied and carried from his home.

The men allegedly went to the complainant’s home in Lefagaoalii and tied his hands and feet to a pole, and carried him out.

All of the defendants are facing charges of kidnapping, threat to do bodily harm, assault and armed with a dangerous weapon.

The matter will be called again next week for the men to enter their plea.

Cook Islands – Luxon

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown has congratulated the incoming New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Luxon on the election result.

Mark Brown told Cook Islands News he hopes to welcome Luxon to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting next month.

Brown said it will be unique opportunity for Luxon to meet regional leaders at the start of his term.

Vanuatu – aviation

The Council of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office, or PASO, which is headquartered in Vanuatu, has appointed Silimanai Ueta Banse Jr. Solomona as it’s next general manager.

Solomona, currently the general manager of the Samoa Airport Authority, will take up the new post in January 2024.

His appointment followed an extensive international recruitment process.

He has over thirty years of civil aviation operations and senior management experience in Samoa and Fiji, including as a pilot, air traffic controller, and aerodromes specialist.

Guam – hospital

Guam’s largest hospital – the Guam Memorial Hospital – is getting a $US50 million bailout.

The territory’s government approved the money as an emergency fund to the state-owned hospital.

The Guam Daily Post reports Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio said a new hospital is needed in the long term.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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