Logging company and Sandaun Authorities involved in Illegal fuel import on barge.
The barge illegally entering Papua New Guinea waters with no licence on the captain and had duplicated international tracking signal.
The barge initially used international tracking transponder for Oil tanker but then changed this once they entered into the PNG waters.
The crew was interrogated at Vanimo when what they thought was a Oil Tanker turned out to be a barge smuggling illegal fuel to the logging camps.
It is now highly suspicious amongst the members of Defence Forces stationed in Sandaun that the Provincial authorities are involved in smuggling of fuel for timber companies in Sandaun province
All the crew members were arrest by soldiers and were placed under isolation at the quarantine point in Vanimo.
The PNGDF troops and the company commander have request fraud squad intervention from Port Moresby to interrogate the crew and find out extent of fraud.
They have been transporting cheap fuel directly for logging operations without going through authorised distributors in the country. This seems to be the case now for all logging operations
On Monday this week the vessel was released by the SOE controller after hefty fines were paid.