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Call for Australian assistance as ‘half of PNG budget stolen’

Money_laundering_schemeRadio New Zealand International

THE Papua New Guinea activist group, Act Now, says Australia has to do more to help PNG crack down on money laundering.

This followed a decision by a Singapore court in which former PNG prime minister Sir Michael Somare was implicated.

The court jailed a couple for laundering $US3.6 million dollars intended for setting up community colleges in PNG.

The court also established that $784,000 of the money was deposited in the bank account of Sir Michael Somare, who was PNG's prime minister at the time.

Sir Michael apologised for the shame caused to PNG but said at no time in his political career had he received inducements or bribes.

Act Now said as much as 50% of PNG's annual government budget was stolen through a variety of different scams involving politicians, bureaucrats and private companies.

It said much of that money is believed to end up in Australia, where it is invested in property, on school fees and other living expenses or squandered in casinos.

The NGO's Eddie Tanago said they want Australia to be much more proactive in cracking down on illegal money flows out of PNG.


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Colin Hayward

Papua New Guinea
Your day has begun
China was watching
The rise of your sun

Terry Shelley

Sonia, with respect, the DSIP & the PSIP and various other schemes are without a doubt the biggest scam ever perpetuated on a nation.

I should also mention the dreaded National Agricultural Development Program under the previous Somare Govt where K100 million per year for five years was paid out to so called Waiganini "paper farmers" to achieve a 30% decrease in coffee production.

We are seeing the emergence of a new middle-class in PNG and they have become middle-class by rorting the programs.

Security firms, guest houses, hardware shops, hire cars etc, are all in the racket of false invoices feeding off the government programs.

The country is awash with earthmoving equipment "owned" by districts. However come the election, when 70% of the current sitting members lose their seats, all this equipment will go with them and the new incoming members will start the process all over.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Entirely agree with Peter Sandery.

Peter O'Neill managed to promise large increases in spending on education and public health and then took it all back. In between nothing actually happened to improve either health or education.

Peter Sandery

Sonia, anyone who knows anything about Public Finance will tell you that it's not numbers in budget papers but things like completion certificates - are they used any more in the PNG scene? - and actual services. like primary health. education and transportation in non-urban areas - think of the condition of the Okuk Highway - as opposed to Port Moresby high-rise buildings that matter that are the hallmark of a caring government, to say nothing of the whole being governed by the Rule of Law - rather than Convenience.

Sonja Barry Ramoi

What a load of hogwash. Where's the evidence that half of the PNG budget has been stolen? Provide the evidence.

One corrupt case in Singapore does not represent half the budget, needless to state.

If you look at the Budget papers you can see for yourself how much the O'Neill Dion Govt has allocated particularly for new infrastructure, free heath care and free education, and if you look at what has been happening on the ground around PNG in the last 5 years you should see what has happened and the developments and infrastructure that has taken place and been built.

Btw, KJ you may do well to take this article down especially because it looks like Radio New Zealand International may have already removed the article from its site, because I did a search for it there earlier and could not find it.

Michael Dom

Oops! I forgot Manus.

What a sorry lot the people of those diggers who fought and died on the Kokoda Track have become.

Sad really, how sick the political rhetoric is at the moment.

Michael Dom

Australia cannot offer PNG assistance in tracking down money laundering because big business in Australia is involved in the process - the real estate, the casino's and other business investment.

Big business in Australia would dissuade their local MP's from supporting agenda to do with transnational crime.

I don't see any other reason why the AFP haven't already just delivered a dossier on everything they know about corrupt deals crossing the Coral Sea to every single law enforcement body and social justice NGO in PNG.

Give everyone the facts. Lay it all out in the open and see what happens.

Fuck the politics. We're talking about people's lives here.

`Robin Lillicrapp

But for Aus' to be more proactive might spell the end of Boomerang Aid. Ting ting, tasol.

Diane Bohlen

A sad state of affairs.

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