PORT MORESBY: National Capital District (NCD) residents and visitors will now have the option to either pay out from the pockets or spend the night in jail if they are caught chewing betelnut (buai) in public places, this was emphasized by NCD Deputy City Manager Honk Kiap after meeting with the city’s top cop and police personnel in a bid to strengthen the partnership of city hall with the Police, and highlighting the role of the police in carrying out their duty in policing the controversial betelnut ban.
Speaking at a joint press conference with NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Chief Inspector Ben Turi at city hall today, Mr. Kiap stressed that the enforcement of the betelnut ban is not on the betelnut itself but for chewing in public places as the city was becoming an eye sore with red spittle marking sidewalks and major walkways throughout the city, while K500 has been announced as the fine to be paid, Mr Kiap stated that this amount is not yet confirmed as there are measures and paper work to be followed in order to ensure the K500 is the set amount.
"Nobody would want to pay K500 or any amount of money on a betelnut fine so at this stage, we are charging people the amount they wish to pay or the amount the individual has on him or her, if he or she does not have the money than we are serving individuals an infringement notice upon which the responsibility now lies with the individual to pay up, however if the person or persons are not willing to cooperate with the police then they will be taken directly to the nearest police station’, said Mr Kiap.
The standard operating procedure for paying a betelnut fine is that once you are stopped at road block or in a public motor vehicle ad caught chewing betelnut you will be issued with a receipt in which you need to take to the cash office at city hall and pay the fine which at this stage is the amount you wish to pay.
If for some reason you are unable to pay the fine you will then be issued with an infringement notice of which you need to pay as soon as possible. For those caught in PMV’s or taxi’s or public places you will be escorted with the police to the cash office to pay your fine.
“The general public is advised that no police officer is allowed to check your bag or go through your mobile phones and invading your privacy, the police may ask you to open your bag but at no cost are they allowed to check your bag or your mobile phone for anything at all this is wrong and unacceptable and the police officers will be dealt with”, said Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi.
"Betelnut is ingrained in our culture, as such the betelnut ban is a sensitive controversial subject, and right now City Hall along with the police are calling on cooperation among the general public and for those who enjoy betelnut to be responsible chewers and adhere to the measures that are currently in place for the interest of others."
|NCD Betelnut Control Law - Proposal of K500 fine for law breakers yet to be confirmed.|
Source: Rocky Issou/YUMI FM News/August 2016.