NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s police commissioner David Manning has disclosed that a woman has been arrested after the discovery of a K268 million theft in Western Province.
The defendant, Edna Oai, 45, was flown to Port Moresby from Daru last Monday and formally charged with 15 counts of false pretence, conspiracy and misappropriation.
Ms Oai was refused bail due to the seriousness of the offences. It is alleged that the money was misappropriated by the defendant as well as the secretary and other directors of Ok Tedi Fly River Development Foundation.
The misappropriated funds came from the Western Province People’s Dividends Trust Account and were intended to fund and implement community development projects.
The police investigation established that the misappropriated funds were paid to a law firm, a company owned by the company secretary and to directors between August 2018 and early 2020. The investigation began in October last year.
The trust account was established in the interests of 147,000 people in 158 villages in the South Fly District.
The investigation found that the people of this region had constantly complained that no development project had ever been funded and implemented using the trust funds.