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‘Perenti Five’ on bail as drug case adjourned


Perenti THE CASE against five Australians charged with illegally entering the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and having marijuana in their possession has been further adjourned.

The men entered Bougainville on the 16.5 metre Sydney-based yacht Perenti and were detained off Wakunai on the Bougainville east coast.

The ‘Perenti Five’ are the vessel’s captain, Michael 'Northy' Northcote (46), Thomas Olsen (44), Clayton McDonald (33), Putu Winchester (34) and Michael O’Neil (42).

The men entered no plea and the court adjourned their case to next Monday with magistrate, Peter Toliken, releasing the accused on K1,000 kina bail each.

The court further ordered that their passports be held by the court and that they not leave Buka until their case has been dealt with.

Meanwhile the men are said by the ABC to want to get a new lawyer from Port Moresby.

The stash of marijuana is now alleged to be, in fact, 500 grams, not the 10 kg originally reported but still significantly more than the 40 grams claimed on PNG Attitude by supporters of the detainees.


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Michael is a lovely guy with a woman and two-year old boy back at home. His yacht has carried him to several countries and acted as his home almost since he left school.

His work in Sydney is always on the water, fixing boats and moving things on a barge. In essense, helping people.

He loves sailing, surfing, reggae music, and has great affection for the indigenous people of the countries he has visited.

Buka Meri

Serves these stupid yachties right for breaking PNG marine laws by illegally entering its waters to get arrested in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

This is a no-go zone for foreigners that they were luck to get their yacht back and not taken off them by the ex-combatants who were rebels during the crisis there.

Well, hope they learn their lesson here to not do it again.

Reginald Renagi

Tim: You obviously do not know the facts of the whole situation. Stop defending these illegal intruders (caught without the proper clearance documents in our waters). They also had in their possession a few grams of pot? Well mate, 500 grams as reported is not a few grams but a lot and you could get 'keel-hauled' in other countries for that.

A case in point here, is try explaining that "its only a few grams of pot" to the Singaporean or Indonesian authorities, if caught in a similar situation. Believe me, it will become your worse nightmare to try and get out of that one.

It's the truth. PNG does not have tough laws yet but in future they will as in Indonesian and Singapore. There they have very severe penalties for only a few grams of pot (or whatever drug you are found with) as some unfortunate Australians did find out a few years ago which cost them their lives.

Obviously you may not have experienced sampling the several varieties of the good old PNG buai with its many different tastes. Its not like a few grams of pot as some white men do enjoy it during their time in the country. Besides, one does not get stoned off his head like you do, even with a few grams of pot (500 grams as reported?). Try recreational chewing of the nut someday, you'll enjoy it; unlike smoking pot or cigarettes.

Timithy Burton

Reginald Renagi'
The death penalty for a few grams of 'pot; are you fardinkum. How do you trafic a a bag of pot.
Do your self a favour and have a look at PNG where every one is off their heads on beattle nut.
Stop writing nonsence.

virginia ilive

I'm wondering what has happened to michael the skipper, it seems like he still is taking responsibility for the charges.?

Reginald Renagi

These Aussie sailors can consider themselves lucky this time that PNG does not yet have a death penalty for possession and the trafficting of banned substances like 'drugs'. Maybe sometimes it will in future so it deters unlawful visitors intruding into its waters. Offenders may not be lightly treated as this case recently got thrown out of court. Let this be a future reminder to others that PNG may have some tough laws and penalties in future. So be forewarned.

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