STAFF REPORTER | PNGi Investigative Website
PORT MORESBY - Real property is no different from personal property. If it is acquired by a third party through deceit or fraud it is a criminal offence.
For too long in Papua New Guinea the police have turned a blind eye to the illicit trade in land. It is time for them to take action and demonstrate they hear the public’s cry for justice.
We are asking all people concerned by this illicit economy to sign a letter demanding a police investigation be conducted into the 15 year saga which saw PNG Deep Sea Fishing Limited acquire a 99-year state lease over land at Alotau.
PNGi has presented significant evidence demonstrating that the land was acquired through fraud. PNGi has also collated evidence that strongly indicates Jimmy Maladina was controlling PNG Deep Sea Fishing at the time this fraud took place.
Sign our letter asking the RPNGC to investigate this matter to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a prosecution under the Criminal Code 1974.
The open letter
Mr Matthew Damaru
Director, National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate
Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary
Dear Mr Damaru,
We the undersigned request that the National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate investigate Mr Jimmy Maladina in order to determine whether his acquisition of a state lease over Allotment 5, Section 59, Town of Alotau breaches the Criminal Code 1974.
Investigative platform PNGi, has presented primary documentation supported by information set out in two Commissions of Inquiry and a Public Accounts Committee report, which demonstrate that this State lease was illegally awarded to a company, PNG Deep Sea Fishing, in March 2000.
The Land Board Meeting which allegedly awarded this state lease to PNG Deep Sea Fishing never happened. Subsequent minutes were forged and an illegal gazettal notice produced by Sir Ralph Guise, the then Land Board Chairman. While the latter was not published, it was used by senior Lands Department officials to facilitate the illicit award to PNG Deep Sea Fishing.
It appears to conceal his involvement in this land transaction, Jimmy Maladina was not a shareholder in PNG Deep Sea Fishing at the time the state lease was awarded. The company was owned by two shareholders which all evidence to date suggests were clearly acting as proxies for a third party which PNGi suggests is Jimmy Maladina. The company’s Directors included Mr Maladina’s wife, and his business frontman, Philip Eludeme. The company’s registered office was a Maladina family home.
When attempts were made by the Milne Bay Provincial Government to rescind the state lease, Mr Maladina initiated litigation that lasted for seven years, concluding in 2014. His legal action was severely rebuked by the National Court.
The people of this country see real property as being no different to any other property. If it is wrong to fraudulently acquire a cheque, or personal property, why is real property any different? If anything this is a much more serious matter, given the value of this item is high and it prevents the land from being used by legitimate developers seeking to acquire the property through legal means.
Evidence relating to this matter can be obtained from: PNGi (email@example.com); The Investment Promotion Authority; The report, transcripts, and exhibits used in the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance; The report, transcripts, and exhibits used in the Commission of Inquiry into the National Provident Fund; The report, transcripts, and exhibits used in the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the Lands Department.
These sources provide access to key documents and leads.
We anticipate and hope that you will give this matter the serious consideration it deserves.