The Finance Department, the IRC and the Bank of PNG were, this week, summoned before the Public Accounts Committee to report on money laundering measures. In conclusion: “The Committee and the three institutions agreed that the country is vulnerable to money laundering…” (National 28 November 2013.)
By PNG Echo.
Sam Koim, of Anti-Corruption Task Force Sweep told an AUSTRAC audience in Australia last year that of all the investments by PNGeans in Cairns real estate,
“Not all…can possibly be derived from legitimate funds.”
To recap on my article in PNGs Post Courier, around this time last year: between the dates of 29 September 2005 and 16 October 2012, 92 properties have been purchased in Cairns by 65 entities.
In the five years to 30 June 2011, PNG nationals had invested K78 million in Cairns property.
Of the 65 entities, I have sought to identify people whose position makes them a servant of the people of Papua New Guinea (or a close associate of a public servant) – in other words, those people about whose financial dealing the public has a ‘right to know.’
Some may have escaped my notice, some interesting purchases may have been made on behalf of an individual by another individual or company – so far this is the list:
Note: This report has not taken into account property that has been traded in the last 13 months (bought and sold).
Cairns property owners of note:
Note: Purchase date after the name of purchaser.
Julius Aijau, 29/06/2012 – Department of Finance. Aijau was arrested last year on fraud charges.
Chris Bongare, 11/11/2011 –First Secretary for Arthur Somare and erstwhile unsuccessful candidate for Kavieng. Alleged to be associated with the recently convicted MP, Paul Tiensten, who is still awaiting sentencing for
Sharon Don, 29/11/2011 – Believed to be a ‘wife’ of Treasurer, Don Polye
Hon William Duma, 04/03/2009 – Minister for Petroleum and Energy who has retained the portfolio from the Somare government to the O’Namah government and, presently, with the O’Neill government.
Kila Gulo-Vui, 06/05/2010 Director PNG Telecom.
Elizabeth Gumbaketi, 22/12/2010 –Acting Deputy Secretary National Health Department until 2012 – and Exec Manager, Strategic Policy Jan 2009-September 2011. Now PhD student James Cook University, Queensland Australia.
Leonard Kamit, 28/06/2010 – Governor (former) of Bank of PNG.
Peter Maginde 20/10/2005, 29/10/2008 (two properties) – High-ranking diplomat
Dr Billy Manoka – 03/07/2012 – Associate Commissioner of the Independent Consumer Competition Commission – referred last week to the Public Prosecutor by the Ombudsman’s Commission (OC) for failing to submit annual statements when they fell due. Dr Manoka responded to the allegations at the OC in February 2011 before the OC satisfied itself that there was a prima facie case that there had been misconduct in office.
Pomat Manuai, 25/11/2009 – Executive Chairman of the Border Development Authority against which there has been serious allegations of corruption.
Dr Ken Ngangan, 07/01/2008 – Current Secretary, Finance Department who provided information to Public Accounts Committee on measures taken by the department on money laundering. Previously (currently?) board member of National Development Bank of Papua New Guinea. Query (?) two further properties.
Hon Benjamin Popanawa 24/08/2011, 30/11/2011 (two properties), – MP for Tambil-Nebilyer Open. In February 2012, Mr Poponawa was accused by a Peter Agura (reported in the National) of not delivering six million kina of RESI funding that had been given to him for disbursement. Agura raised similar concerns over other projects – all denied and rebutted by Mr Poponawa. Mr Poponawa has recently been appointed head of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission and is a former Auditor General
Hon William TITPE Powi, 03/07/2012 – Governor of the Southern Highlands Province.
Monalisa Ramatlap (with Brant Holden), 10/02/2009 – Hudson Ramatlap (relationship unknown) is First Legislative Counsel at Office of Legislative Council. Sacked by the O’Namah government, he was later reinstated to the post.
Arthur Somare (2008?) – Formerly MP for Angoram (lost seat in 2012 election.) Former State Enterprises Minister in Somare government who negotiated the PNG LNG deal. Allegations of involvement in the ‘Woodland” scandal involving the disappearance of K96 million from the accounts of Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd. In February 2013 it was reported in the social media that Arthur Somare had been appointed Chief Consultant to IPBC at a salary of K1.3 million.
Grand Chief the Hon Sir Michael Somare, 08/08/2007 Father of the nation of PNG, former Prime Minister and presently Governor of East Sepik.
Ian Tarutia, 22/02/2011 – CEO of NasFund, he was implicated in a controversial loan (Sovereign Community Infrastructure Treasury Bill (SCITB)) of K125 million. Although the Central Bank recommended his termination Mr Tarutia remained in his position and continues to achieve strong growth for the fund.
Kepas Wali, 09/08/2007, 20/03/2007 (Two properties) – Recently replaced Managing Director of Mineral Resources Authority
Eremas Wartoto – 07/6/2010, 29/11/2010, 28/01/2011, (Three properties) Australian Visa revoked by Australian authorities forcing him to return to Papua New Guinea where he was arrested and charged with criminal offences involving the misappropriation of money. His court case is pending.
Jeffrey Yakopya, 01/02/2010 – Department of National Planning and Monitoring. Director of Niugini Star Transport Ltd a company implicated in allegations of obtaining millions of kina for projects unfulfilled.
In the public domain
None of the information contained herein is ‘privileged’. All comments on events, and controversy surrounding the purchasers are to be found in the public domain – available to anyone who’d care to employ a simple ‘Google’ search.
Documentation is a matter of public record and available to anyone who asks the right questions and pays the search fee to the correct governing authority.
There is no inference on the part of PNG Echo as to the legitimacy of the purchases and none should be attributed.