Far East Command sets up Frontiersmen Unit in Papua New Guinea

The Legion of Frontiersmen Far East Command met with His Excellency Commodore (Ret) Peter Ilau on 18 January 2019 to discuss to establish a development and trust foundation for Papua New Guinea (PNG) youths. The establishment of a National Cadet Corp (NCC) and security training academy was envisaged to be a regimental conduit to round up delinquents and youth criminals below the age of 18 and rehabitate them for useful and skill-based professions like private security officers and paid volunteers for events support, crowd and traffic control. Lieutenant Colonel (LF) Serene Wee, Head of General Inspectorate, Frontiersmen Far East Command said, “The control of criminal and delinquent behaviours of youths today will alleviate the workload of law enforcement officials and criminal justice departments of tomorrow. A youth development fund will effectively sustain activities and supervision for the long term improvement of Papua New Guinea”. 2nd Lieutenant (LF) Mary Dorothy Ilau, who receives tertiary education in Singapore, stays in Papua New Guinea now and volunteers as Training Officer for the Frontiersmen Far East Command. 2LT (LF) Mary is responsible for curriculum design and in-country training coordination. She added,”The youth population of Papua New Guinea are the future leaders of tomorrow. The security industry has a large growing potential to shape the landscape for a safer and secure PNG . This will in turn attract direct foreign investments to the country”. Youth crimes and Antecedents Youth crimes and syndicated activities has a deep-rooted history in Papua New Guinea. Raskol gangs are criminal gangs in Papua New Guinea, primarily in the larger cities, including Port Moresby and Lae. Raskol is a Tok Pisin (Pidgin English) word derived from the English word rascal and is currently used in PNG to refer to gang members or criminals in general. Delinquent behaviours - Early Years Raskol gangs first emerged in Port Moresby in the 1970s, largely associated with the growth of urban squatter settlements in Port Moresby that consisted of recent migrants from the rural areas of the country and their children. Unemployment was (and remains) high in the settlements, with most employment in the informal sector, and educational opportunities very limited. Similar to criminal gangs in western urban centres such as Los Angeles, London, and Paris, criminal gangs emerged as a mechanism through which uneducated and unemployed urban youth in PNG sought a sense of self-worth and security by associating with others who share their deprivation. In a country where betel nut, marijuana, and other psychoactive recreational drugs are widely accessible at an early age, these drugs are an often-cited contributor to the erratic behaviour of raskol gangs. Widespread alcoholism due to cultural attitudes towards alcoholism may also be a contributor. Many PNG criminal law enforcement officials accept drunkenness as a legal defence in domestic violence cases. Syndicated and Criminal Activities - Today Over the years, raskol gang activities have evolved from opportunistic incidents of small scale theft or breaking and entering to more organised criminal activity including serving as middlemen in the marijuana trade both within PNG and between PNG and Australia, as well as becoming increasingly politicised as the instrument of various political powers. The growth of squatter settlements in Lae and Port Moresby has led to a corresponding increase in the number and size of raskol gangs. Crimes such as carjacking are common in a city that has a 60 percent unemployment rate. The raskol culture of violent crime has recently spread to other populous and impoverished coastal areas of New Guinea, including Lae, Wewak, New Britain (particularly Rabaul), Bougainville Island, and Manus Island. In these areas, the raskol culture has merged with the local history of cannibalism, marijuana cultivation and usage, tribal feuds, canoe warfare, and piracy. Hijacking of boats and even kidnapping or murder of the owners is becoming more common. Even the New Guinean captains of small supply boats that frequent small island villages run the risk of being beaten, robbed, or murdered for the sake of their meagre cargo of instant noodles, clothing, and disposable batteries.

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The Legion of Frontiersmen (Far East Command) is registered in Singapore and gazette notification effecting the registration was published in the Government Gazette vide Notification Number 574 under the registration T18SS0035B.