Cairns real estate – who owns what?

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, 11/11/2011First 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

Apartment complex of Polye's 'wife'.
Apartment complex of Polye’s ‘wife’.


Sharon Don, 29/11/2011Believed to be a ‘wife’ of Treasurer, Don Polye



Hon William Duma
Hon William Duma


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, 22/12/2010Acting 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, 28/06/2010Governor (former) of Bank of PNG.

Peter Maginde 20/10/2005, 29/10/2008 (two properties) – High-ranking diplomat

Dr Billy Manoka
Dr Billy Manoka

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.


Lounge room of Pomat Manui's pad
Lounge room of Pomat Manui’s pad


Pomat Manuai, 25/11/2009  – Executive Chairman of the Border Development Authority against which there has been serious allegations of corruption.

Dr Ken Ngangan
Dr Ken Ngangan

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.



sold in June 2013 $AU525,000
sold in June 2013 $AU525,000

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

Agent's photograph - Powi's Cairns property.
Agent’s photograph – Powi’s Cairns property.



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.

Agents photograph - Arthur Somare's cairns pad
Agent’s photograph – Arthur Somare’s Cairns pad

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, 22/02/2011CEO 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

Wartoto invested in this building
Wartoto invested in this building

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, 01/02/2010Department 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.


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21 thoughts on “Cairns real estate – who owns what?

  1. Very curious to know where all the money from corrupt PNG leaders and dept heads had gone to.”PNG is so Rich but yet we are Poor”.

  2. Will it be possible for this information to published in be the national papers for every good citizen of this nation to see?

    • Ha! They should be so brave! But please feel free to print out the article and distribute to your wantoks, neighbours or anyone else with no access to internet. In fact, I encourage everyone to do this on each and any article where you feel it’s appropriate. That way we get a deeper penetration and impact. Thanks for your query.

  3. Holy shit. I wonder where these people get the money to buy these properties.

    Please, publish this info in our 2 daily media (The National & The Post Courier) for all citizens of PNG to see.

  4. I am very ashamed as a Papua New Guinean and disgusted of this so called leaders who should be tried and hanged for misappropriating public money. Damnit!

  5. Tired of paying tax while my money i earn from sweat and pain is being stolen. Please do publishe them on the two papers so that all taxpayers can see the real devil!

  6. Well done! Hope this information reach more people. Probably get the realty listing onto post courier n national for the country to see. The taxpayers deserve to know where their money is spent. These has to stop.

  7. The curse upon them and even repenting will do nothing good as they will benefit from stealing, so let them enjoy their cocktail party na dai isi isi down their generation who benefit from GODs People Money. The question is “How do you acquire such money. was it from your salary or coffee, coconut, cocoa or kurumba bange plantation? Planti baim property lo Asia tu ya. They always laugh at our comments but I challenge you to know this “Its GODs Peoples Money.” Ino blo tubuna blo yu so stop beating your chest. Sem tu oh.

  8. A detailed investigation should be instigated by the Ombudsman and other anti-money londering and anti-corruption agencies to establish where exactly the money came from to invest in these very expensive properties by these elite Papua New Guineans.
    Good on them if they have acquired the funds from credible sources to undertake these investments.
    If the money is obtained from corrupt dealings, then all money should be forfeited back to the state and these men or women to be terminated from employment in Public Service and also sent to jail for life. PNG Justice system and the whole fight against corruption by white colar criminals seem to go nowhere. It is all fucked -up!!!
    Our Police and legal system find it very easy to charge and prosecute a hungry PNGian stealing from an Asian shop, a criminal who steals from banks or shops to feed his family but it is very hard for them to do the same for white colar criminals. What a shame!!!

    • There is nothing on Peter O’Neill & Jimmy Maladina, have we just forgotten the recent past, “NPF saga” the carns conservertory building should be added on to the list. They ain’t saints, they led the way now country CEO, who knows, they have country’s wealth in their pockets.