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Matthew DamaruSTAFF CORRESPONDENT | Radio New Zealand | Edited

PORT MORESBY - The director of the Papua New Guinea police fraud and anti-corruption squad says corruption has grown significantly in recent years.

Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru  (pictured) said with the growth of PNG's economy, corruption has grown from simple fraud to more elaborate scams.

He said anti-fraud detectives are looking at corruption at the highest level.

However his directorate has been marginalised by funding constraints.

Mr Damaru said 2017 was a good year for the squad with many people arrested and charged, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to jail.

He said he's hoping the same will happen this year.

"If you can do more of those, we can send that deterrent message. Otherwise you know corruption is going to go out of hand.

"The thing I fear is that I don't want the new generation coming up to, when they see corruption, and say 'this is our culture, this is how we live, this is how we do our business'.

“That is the last thing we want to see happen," Mr Damaru said.

"We have hundreds of unsolved cases going back years but we don't have the capacity to deal with them.

"The more people we can send to jail the more we can send a message of deterrence. But unfortunately we are unable to always do that because of resource constraints."

He said the problem is getting worse.

"The more economic activity grows, the more money we have, and that creates an incentive for people to want more money for themselves."


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