PORT MORESBY(POST COURIER) — A foreign national, allegedly believed to be behind a ‘marriage of convenience’ scheme has been caught in Papua New Guinea while trying to avoid a police dragnet when crossing the Waghi river in the Jiwaka province.

The suspect from Bangladesh is alleged to have developed this profitable scheme which involves marrying PNG women so that he can tap into businesses reserved for PNG citizens, Immigration and Border Security Minister Westley Nukundj confirmed.

The Bangladeshi is one of 13 foreigners that an inter-agency investigation team arrested in Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces last week.

Nukundj said the same man was previously arrested and charged in Port Moresby for engaging in business activities that are supposed to be reserved for PNG nationals.

In Port Moresby, he was also married to a local woman, he allegedly used as a front.

Nukundj said in Port Moresby the man was running a chain of tucker shops in settlements, using a local woman who he “married” as a front to his one-man company.

The investigation team had arrested, charged and locked him up at the Boroko police station cells, but while out on bail, he escaped to Jiwaka province, where he apparently “married” another local woman there, and was “illegally” running a trade store at Kimil village outside Banz without proper documents, Nukundj said.

He said the Special Investigation team, comprising PNG Immigration, Labour Department and police, acting upon tip-offs, conducted a dawn raid and apprehended him as he was trying to escape by crossing the Waghi River.

“No foreigner will escape as I have set up a strong team headed by an experience team leader and will hunt down any alien who defy our laws and will show them the exit door,” Nukundj said.

The investigation is part of on-going investigations sanctioned by Nukundj after the discovery of a fake visa syndicate in the country.

So far 34 foreigners have been arrested in Oro, Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces and as investigations continue, more arrests and deportations are anticipated, Nukundj said…..PACNEWS

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