THE BLACK VEIL
Veteran journalist Cyril Gare takes a deeper insight on the EMTV saga and hints syndicates which should be exposed and culprits be brought to justice.
Our premier television station – EMTV this week fall prey to the curses of cocaine and the underworld like a BLACK VEIL hovering above us. Slain robber, William Kapis once said this country will one day be run by syndicates, black bankers and drug lords.
The ‘black flight’ of July 26, 2020 that carried millions of kina worth of cocaine and crashed upon take-off at Bogi Bogi illegal airstrip near Papa some 30 kilometres outside Port Moresby was no coincidence.
Today EM TV got the whip. It could be any media house tomorrow. Papua New Guinea would not have known about it if the Cessna 402 C had not crashed. It was clandestine, well planned and executed.
Independent police investigators said mobile phone evidences name people and places including time and dates about the activities of the cocaine drug syndicate operating out of Port Moresby with connections to a “North Asian Networks”.
Investigators said the syndicate knew and was planning for the arrival of the “black flight” however, the absent of the “load master” on that fateful day resulted in miscalculations of weight which impacted on take-off.
Investigators said the load master was absent on that day because he was escaping arrest after the husband of a woman had laid an ‘extra marital affairs’ complaint with police against him.
Thirty people were named as “persons of interest” – big fish identified. These include names of politicians, government ministers, senior public servants, senior police officers, senior military officers, and senior citizens and businessmen involved in planning and moving of cocaine from wherever they are into PNG, portion of it to be used here in PNG and the rest sent to Australia.
There were 144 bags of cocaine on board each weighing around 15 kilograms.
According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, one gram of cocaine in the US is sold on the street at US$169 per gram or PGK698.06 per gram.
Based on this calculation, the 144 cocaine bags would fetch around US$365,040,000 or PGK1.5 billion.
Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority records showed that the current registered owner of the Cessna aircraft VH-TSI (that crashed) is Ravenpol No. 69 Limited, a company based in Port Moresby with links to a political party.
Given the weight and gravity of this cocaine story that involved high profile people with links to international drug syndicates and gun runners, it is certain that the media will be the first target for gagging and censorship even death threats.
In a Post Courier front page story on August 11, 2020, Prime Minister, James Marape has promised PNG that he “will leave no stones unturned” in the drug investigation until he uncovers those involved and bring them to justice.
The Prime Minister warned drug syndicates that PNG was not the place for them to ply their trade and the government will do everything in its power to ensure the country and its people are not exposed to dangers of cocaine.
EM TV is State (Government) owned through Telikom PNG. If not for ‘public interest’ and safe guard of a drug free PNG then whose interest is Telikom representing here by “continuously interfering” in the process and independence of news?
Why should Sincha Dimara be suspended from her job over broadcasted stories about a convicted felon in the likes of Jamie Pang?
“The ability of journalists to report freely on matters of public interest is a crucial indicator of democracy. A free press can inform citizens of their leaders’ successes or failures, convey the people’s needs and desires to government bodies, and provide a platform for the open exchange of information and ideas. When media freedom is restricted, these vital functions break down, leading to poor decision-making and harmful outcomes for leaders and citizens alike” – www.freedomhouse.org/issue