What is more serious: Michael Somare’s sandals setting off an alarm at the Brisbane International Airport in Australia, or an alleged cocaine pilot crashing into PNG sovereign boarders illegally?
Were anyone of you pissed off, when in 2005, Michael Somare was asked to take off his sandals at the Brisbane airport when the sandals set off an alarm? After a long protest, Somare was given the choice of taking off his sandals, or get on the plane and return to PNG. Somare did take off his sandals – sandal that could hardly hide any illegal substance.
PNG wanted an apology, or an expression of regret, over the Somare incident, Australian the Prime Minister, John Howard declined to apologise. He said the airport security were doing their job.
It was disrespectful of one of the founding fathers of PNG, and the incumbent prime minister of the time. But that is how serious Australia is with their security.
Fast forward to 2020, an Australian pilot enters PNG airspace illegally using a plane registered under a dead man’s name, violating of sovereignty of PNG, and crashes his plane. He allegeded to transported cocaine (reports from journalists of traces of cocaine found at the crash site). He is charged K3000 for illegal entry, which is equivalent of AUD 1, 200.
If you were a PNG man who illegally flew into Australia on a plane registered under a dead man’s name, crashed it whilst on a suspected cocaine smuggling run, the least you be subject under is: you’d still de detained, and investigations conductedt on substance found at the crash site. If it was cocained, where did it originate from, who are your suppliers, who are your buyers, how long as it been going on, and so on.
In PNG, you commit the same crime, you are charged K3000.
One nation takes mere sandals as security threat. Another nation disregards a potential cocaine business. Which is of a greater threat, sandals or cocaine?
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