A billboard advertising Justin Parker's company, Golden Valley (Australian Financial Review)
| National Affairs Correspondent | The Australian Financial Review
SYDNEY - The lockdown has been good to gold. Since early February it has rallied more than 10% as investors predictably sought shelter in the precious metal during these uncertain economic times.
But some of that sheen has come off this rally in recent days after The Australian Financial Review revealed industry standards around ethical sourcing, or ‘conflict gold’, were hollow at best.
Continue reading "Oz gold industry goes on trial" »
Alluvial gold miners, Dantanai, Kieta District. A Human Rights Watch investigation found illegal artisanal gold miners around Porgera routinely use mercury, a poison which has had significant health impacts on both miners and their families
SAM JAY KAUPA
The unlawful extraction and export of gold is a scandal in both Papua New Guinea and Australia. Among the major beneficiaries, it seems from a recent investigation by the Australian Financial Review, even the respectable institution, the Perth Mint. Sam Jay Kaupa is an experienced mining engineer and manager with extensive domestic and international experience - KJ
PORT MORESBY - There is a question people need to ask. Why can’t the central bank of Papua New Guinea buy gold to curb smuggling and build reserves to stabilise the plummeting kina?
The mining sector accounts for about 9% of GDP and the overall resources sector contributes about 26% of GDP. This will continue to rise with the current demand for cobalt, a by-product of the precipitate from Ramu Nickel.
Continue reading "Gold stolen on a massive scale" »
Jelta Wong - Believes a foreign ICAC commissioner will guarantee a fair and just system
| Radio New Zealand
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea government health minister Jelta Wong says a foreigner should head the country's new independent anti-corruption agency.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill passed its second reading in parliament last week.
Continue reading "Foreigner should head new ICAC: Minister" »
Eddie Tanago - "There has not been one prosecution of a high profile leader for corruption or misappropriation and not one minister has been forced to resign or even step aside"
EDDIE TANAGO PAINE
PORT MORESBY - A year after taking power, the government of James Marape has completely failed to deliver on its promises to tackle Papua New Guinea’s chronic corruption.
James Marape was elected as prime minister on the back of a growing wave of discontent about political corruption and the misuse of public funds - and the initial signs from the new government were promising.
Continue reading "Marape government fails to tackle corruption" »
TUMBY BAY - If you watch any imported American police program on commercial television you’d be forgiven for assuming that the solution to any problem is a gun.
These programs, with their officious acronyms like NCIS, SVU and CSI, feature a never ending barrage of good guys ending the nefarious deeds of bad guys in a blaze of gunfire. Every situation seems to end in gun play.
Continue reading "If in doubt, shoot it" »
Hela Governor Philip Undialu - "The international community will soon know who is telling the truth"
HON PHILIP AJA UNDIALU MP
| Governor of Hela Province | Edited
TARI – There was no need for the Papua New Guinea government to have any advance negotiations with Barrick before the decision not to renew the Porgera Joint Venture lease.
Any negotiation held prior to the decision would have seen as preemptive of the decision and would have been in breach of the Mining Act, which would have attracted legal implications.
Continue reading "Call for apology from Barrick" »
Assistant Commissioner Anthony Wagambie
| Assistant Commissioner, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary
PORT MORESBY - We, as part of the global community are going through some of the most challenging times we have ever experienced with the Covid-19 Pandemic spreading across the world.
Our PNG government has imposed a state of emergency to stop the virus spreading.
Continue reading "Coronavirus: We must all play our part" »
PNG Defence Force personnel have been assigned to assist in the fight against coronavirus (Alexander Nara)
| My Land, My Country
LAE - So it’s a global pandemic with well over 16,000 dead already, 380,000 infected and less than 103,000 recovered.
It was a national health worry. But within days, it became a national emergency.
The prime minister taking advice from the National Security Council, a state of emergency declared and police commissioner David Manning appointed emergency controller.
Continue reading "Learning important coronavirus lessons" »
Still from ABC-TV footage of what appears to be an extra-judicial killing of an Afghani civilian by an Australian SAS soldier
TUMBY BAY - Apart from the escalating disaster of the coronavirus epidemic, a couple of other unsettling items have come to my notice this week.
The first was the release of the appalling footage of an Australian SAS soldier executing an unarmed villager in Afghanistan in May 2012.
The second was an email relating to a horrible and disgusting incident involving police and defence force personnel in Papua New Guinea in 1998.
Continue reading "The library of unpalatable facts" »
Professional policing should never involve unlawful conduct, especially torture - which they glibly call "interrogation"
KIMBE - The common practice of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary picking up youths going about their legitimate business in the street, throwing them in the back of a police 10-seater and belting them to try and get information (torture), that they may or may not have, has to stop.
Police Minister Bryan Kramer, your officers cannot expect our youth to respect the rights of others, and not steal from them or harm them, if they themselves are victims of illegal violence from police officers.
Continue reading "Police violence is alienating youth" »
| PNG Today
PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea Immigration special task force has made a huge breakthrough by uncovering a syndicate involved in producing fake PNG visas.
Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Westly Nukundi, said members of the task force, acting on information, conducted surveillance at Jacksons International Airport on Sunday and apprehended a Papua New Guinean woman, who is an Australian citizen, in possession of a fake visa.
Continue reading "Fake visa scheme busted" »
APEC Maseratis previously garaged in this warehouse are now mysteriously missing (Reuters)
| Guardian Australia
PORT MORESBY - Police in Papua New Guinea have begun searching for cars bought to transport world leaders around the 2018 APEC leaders’ summit but which have since gone missing from a warehouse in Port Moresby.
The police transport director, Chief Superintendent Dennis Corcoran, said he had instructed regional police bosses to begin searching for APEC vehicles that have been illegally moved out of Port Moresby, though he said this would be difficult.
Continue reading "Police continue search for APEC cars" »
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s parliament passed historic whistleblower protection legislation on Tuesday following a commitment made by prime minister James Marape last month.
The passing of the Whistle Blower Act coincided with the tabling of enabling legislation for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Continue reading "PNG passes historic whistleblower law" »
PORT MORESBY - I have read the organic law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption 2019 (OLICAC) bill and, on the whole, I think it is a great law that equips ICAC with real teeth to go after corruption.
You can download the bill here from the Act Now PNG! website.
Continue reading "The new ICAC bill examined" »
| Facebook | Extract
Yesterday PNG's parliament passed a law to protect whistleblowers but a bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption will have to go to a parliamentary committee before being voted on. Mr Marape wrote this before parliament sat - KJ
PORT MORESBY - I gained office with no money, no political party, no lobbyist, and not too many friends except a few loyalists including MPs and the general people of Papua New Guinea who wanted change plus the Hand of my Creator God.
Please circulate that I don’t have agents and if anyone, whether the fake accounts holders in Facebook or others in private who might request help as if coming from me, report them.
Continue reading "Whistleblower act passed" »
Transparency PNG's Peter Aitsi - minister Duma must be directed to step down and an independent investigation into corruption allegations immediately undertaken
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY - TIPNG is calling for the prime minister and relevant Papua New Guinean agencies to investigate what appear to be serious allegations of grand corruption against state minister William Duma, as reported in the Australian Financial Review.
As parliament prepares to convene its first sitting of the year, TIPNG urges prime minister Marape to live by his words that he will fight corruption and that the example must now start with his own cabinet.
Continue reading "Marape must investigate Duma, says Transparency" »
Commerce and industry minister William Duma says he did nothing wrong
| Australian Financial Review
SYDNEY - The Australian Financial Review’s investigation into the issuing of Horizon Oil’s lucrative petroleum development license in Papua New Guinea in 2011 has raised serious questions about the conduct of the company.
Chairman Mike Harding has acted properly by standing down CEO Michael Sheridan – who in 2011 was Horizon’s CFO, company secretary and a board member – pending an independent investigation into the corruption allegations by Herbert Smith Freehills and Deloitte, which will be overseen by an independent board committee.
Continue reading "Time to crack down on corruption" »
James Marape speaking at the launch of the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. He said he would set up a national ICAC in 2020
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY - With the resignation of former prime minister Peter O’Neill last May after a seven-year tenure, many citizens hailed the resulting appointment of the Marape-Steven government as an opportunity to start afresh.
A staggering K26 billion mountain of debt and an inefficient and incredibly costly public service has forced the new government to implement a number of unpopular, yet arguably more fiscally responsible, initiatives.
Continue reading "Will PNG get serious about corruption?" »
James Marape says the public must to do more than protest on social media, they must make official complaints. But will whistle blowers be protected
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape has reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption after another low ranking in Transparency International's annual corruption perceptions index.
Out of 180 countries surveyed in 2019, PNG remains a lowly 137, the worst ranking in the Pacific for the second consecutive year.
Continue reading "Please report corruption, says Marape" »
ANGUS GRIGG & LISA MURRAY
| Australian Financial Review | Extracts
Link to the full article here
SYDNEY - A major falling out between the owners of Manus Island contractor Paladin is threatening to expose the Home Affairs Department to a fresh round of scrutiny over the integrity and performance of the $532 million (K1.2 billion) refugee contract.
Ian Stewart, who resigned as a Paladin Group director in July last year, broke ranks on Tuesday and said he was willing to front a Senate inquiry into the firm’s practices in Papua New Guinea and how it ran the controversial contract.
Continue reading "Manus scandal: Director breaks silence" »
TUMBY BAY - My next door neighbour and his wife are in their eighties. He’s a tough old cereal farmer and she’s a retired hospital matron. They are trying to live out their twilight years as happily as possible.
Not a week goes by, however, that they don’t come over to ask me about a concerning telephone call they’ve had or a strange email they’ve received.
Continue reading "The world is teeming with cyber crooks" »
GRANT WALTON & SINCLAIR DINNEN
| Devpolicy Blog
CANBERRA - As anyone who has visited Papua New Guinea in the past 20 years can attest, the private security industry is booming.
Office buildings are often only accessible by passing by rolls of sharp barbed wire, pointed fences and uniformed guards with large caps.
Continue reading "Regulating private security in PNG" »
| The Age (Melbourne)
HELA - It is often said that tribal fighting in the Papua New Guinea Highlands is part and parcel of the socio-cultural fabric of the region.
With a history stretching back hundreds of years (if not more), it can be seen simply as an indivisible feature of the Highland way of life.
Continue reading "Centuries-long Hela war gets deadlier" »
Peter O'Neill - 'Those who are guilty always run and hide'
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report | Edited
PORT MORESBY - When will Peter O'Neill be arrested? The appropriate authority to answer the question of when the former prime minister will be arrested to face the many corruption allegations against him is the police force.
But if someone were to ask for my opinion, I would say the short answer is sometime this year.
Continue reading "The arrest of Peter O’Neill" »
SYDNEY – At least 10 people were killed in the last two weeks of the old year in Enga Province as tribal fighting in the Highlands region intensified.
Plagued by warring factions, Lagaip-Porgera MP Tomait Kapili said the violence and killings must stop.
Continue reading "Enga fighting intensifies" »
| Transparency International
BERLIN - As the year ends, we are reflecting on how corruption eats away at things we all care about, from fundamental human rights to socio-economic equality and environmental protection.
Around the world, corruption made headlines, sparked demonstrations and toppled governments in what should be a wake-up call for leaders to follow through on their commitments and make good on old promises as well as new, meaningful resolutions.
Continue reading "Corruption deepens democracy’s crisis" »
Commissioner David Manning
| Radio New Zealand
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea police commissioner David Manning says any staff, male or female, who abuse their spouses will be dismissed from the force.
Mr Manning said the force has recorded a large number of domestic violence cases, and this must be addressed.
Continue reading "Abusive police will be sacked" »
Constable John Solala, head still bandaged and a tear in his uniform after a knife attack earlier this month
| My Land, My Country
MADANG - For the past 12 months, the media’s attention has focused on Madang, not as a tourist destination but as a hotspot for crime.
At Jomba station, where the provincial headquarters is located, provincial police commander Manuc Rubian reveals that the crime statistics are worrying.
Much of the crime stems from widespread alcohol abuse and a general breakdown in law and order.
Continue reading "The Madang predicament" »
James Marape has one of the hardest jobs a national leader can face - ridding a country of corruption
MICHIGAN, USA - In the 18 December issue of The National, prime minister James Marape put the kibosh on unauthorised foreign travel by ministers of state.
He made it clear that ministers must receive permission from himself through the chief secretary before they travel to Australia, the United States or China.
Continue reading "Extreme corruption needs extreme response" »
| DevPolicy Blog
PORT MORESBY - Capital punishment is a sensitive issue in Papua New Guinea. While laws have been put in place to introduce the death penalty, they have not been used.
In July 2019, prime minister James Marape said the PNG Parliament would continue to debate whether the death penalty is maintained in the criminal code.
Continue reading "Capital punishment in PNG" »
Patilias Gamato - threatened to sue writer Martyn Namorong for defamation during the 2017 election when Namorong satirically compared him with a tomato
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, was remanded in custody at the Boroko police cells in the national capital on Thursday after an alleged breach of his bail conditions.
Gamato was arrested in October and charged with corruption in relation to an incident in Port Moresby during the 2017 general elections.
Continue reading "Witness tampering: Gamato in custody" »
In the National Housing Corporation corruption is rife. The stench from those who feed off the misery of evicted Papua New Guinean families is sickening
LAE - All the systems we put in place must serve the people.
We can pull our people out from the quagmire of poor health and low literacy. We can educate more women, reduce violence, build great infrastructure, strengthen our internal and external security.
We can be a learning hub for our Pacific neighbours with world class university campuses that use the research and the skills to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Continue reading "PNG – we can’t go on like this" »
Public accounts committee deputy chairman Governor Gary Juffa and chairman Sir John Pundari enter a packed conference room to investigate the health department. How many deaths has this corrupt and incompetent department been responsible for?
| My Land, My Country | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Inside a packed conference room on the first level of B-Wing at Papua New Guinea’s parliament house, the Public Accounts Committee awaits senior members of the health department.
Already present are representatives from the logistics and pharmaceutical companies who have been summoned to give evidence in this investigation into a health system in crisis.
Continue reading "Health corruption & incompetence exposed" »
Bryan Kramer (back to camera) addresses a meeting of police officers
BRYAN KRAMER MP
PORT MORESBY - On 14 November 2019, former prime minister Peter O’Neill released a press statement entitled ‘Criminal complaints and admitted misuse of police power requires PM to decommission Kramer’.
Then last Friday O’Neill issued a further statement entitled ‘Kramer deliberately leaked cabinet information so must be decommissioned’.
Continue reading "O’Neill wants me fired as police minister" »
In PNG there is no reliable system to provide official information to the public and this can result in turmoil, caused by citizens reacting to fake news
| Transparency International
BERLIN – ‘ORGAN HARVESTERS APPREHENDED.’ This horrifying headline reached citizens of Papua New Guinea as a viral WhatsApp alert one morning in 2019.
The alert pointed to social media posts and reported that police had detained several kidnappers.
It said the kidnappers had been abducting and murdering women and children in the capital city of Port Moresby in order to harvest and sell their organs.
Continue reading "Public information for public trust" »
NOOSA – The Papua New Guinea chief justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, has made an extraordinary intervention in politics by lodging a complaint against police minister Bryan Kramer alleging he has spread “a false or misleading report”.
And Salika’s letter of complaint was quickly leaked to Facebook.
Continue reading "O’Neill: Chief justice’s shock intervention" »
Bryan Kramer at the anti-money laundering conference in Melbourne
BRYAN KRAMER MP
PORT MORESBY - It is estimated that Papua New Guinea loses anywhere between K2 and K3 billion in public funds annually through white collar corruption.
These funds would normally be spent on building classrooms, improving the education system, better wages and housing for public servants and providing lifesaving medical equipment and supplies.
Continue reading "K3 billion a year lost in white collar fraud" »
Peter O'Neill - Says he didn't run away from justice. So can we expect him back in PNG some day soon?
| PNG Breaking News
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's former prime minister Peter O'Neill has denied a claim that he has fled the country to avoid being arrested
This is despite police last week withdrawing an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill after his lawyers had launched a legal challenge to its validity.
Continue reading "Just seeing my kids, says O’Neill" »
The O'Neill arrest warrant at left was issued by the court to police. Note that the appropriate box is ticked. On the right is the fake warrant produced and submitted by O’Neill and his lawyers to mislead the court. The signatures are also different
BRYAN KRAMER MP
PORT MORESBY – On Friday, I published Part 1 of the O’Neill story, providing an insight into the events that took place in relation to an arrest warrant obtained by Police on 11 October 2019 against former prime minister Peter O’Neill.
To recap, the national court granted a temporary stop order preventing police from arresting O’Neill until the matter returned to court on Monday 21 October.
Continue reading "O’Neill saga Part 2: Fakes & flakes" »
Dramatic photograph captures the horrific scene of a woman being tortured in front of a village crowd
| Ms Magazine | Extract
WASHINGTON DC - Paul Petrus speaks softly about the part he played in the rescue of an accused witch.
Anna (not her real name), a young woman in her mid-twenties, was being tortured by villagers outside Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands Province.
After a 2015 outbreak of tribal violence in neighbouring Enga, Anna had fled approximately 130 km to escape the conflict.
Continue reading "We’re women, not witches" »
Tribal fighters with home made gun (Caitlin Welch ICRC)
| Australian Institute of International Affairs
CANBERRA - It is often said that tribal fighting in the Papua New Guinea Highlands is part and parcel of the socio-cultural fabric of the region.
With a history stretching back hundreds of years (if not more), it can be seen simply as an indivisible feature of the Highlands way of life.
Continue reading "The challenge of tribal conflict in PNG" »
A swamp perhaps to be drained (Stefan Krasowski)
| The Ethics Centre
SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea is known as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Yet through delivering ethical leadership training to public officials there, The Ethics Centre is seeing a natural aptitude for ethics that government and corporations are struggling to nurture in Australia.
Continue reading "Overcoming corruption in PNG" »
Niunk road junction where the Kandep-Mendi road joins the roads to Wabag and Porgera gold mine. And recently the scene of death, carnage and mayhem
LAIAGAM - Niunk village is on the road to Porgera gold mine, a kilometre away from Laiagam station.
The surrounding tribe, known as Samb, is made up of six clans: Kamul, Lapyen, Tingen, Maralin, Lot and Malwan. And these six are divided into of several inter-clans.
There are many chronic issues here and frosts, droughts, landslides, bushfires and floods shape the land.
Continue reading "Murder - all because of a bottle of beer" »
Peter O'Neill (being restrained by a policeman left of centre) storms the supreme court in his successful bid to come to power in 2012
VERONA, ITALY - Last Friday an arrest warrant for Peter O'Neill, former prime minister of Papua New Guinea was issued. It caught him by surprise.
O’Neill locked himself inside the Crown Plaza hotel in Port Moresby, refusing to cooperate with the courts.
It is Ali Baba abandoned by his 40 robbers, who are now conveniently trying to hide their complicity or participation in his crimes.
Continue reading "My frustrating Peter O'Neill years" »
Porap Gai - "If the judiciary punished the guilty more honestly then there would be less or no violence"
LAIAGAM - The Papua New Guinea government needs to establish firmer law and order.
I am not a politician, I am a pastor. I have the pastoral responsibility for the innocent lives so often lost.
Lack of discipline is of concern due to the wantok system. There must be better rule of law in place to allow everyone to live in security.
Continue reading "Tribal conflicts burden wild west Enga" »
Sir Mek - "A blatant disregard for the law and for the transparency and accountability required of public bodies"
SIR MEKERE MORAUTA MP
| Former Prime Minister and Member for Moresby North-West
PORT MORESBY- The lack of transparency and accountability of the Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) and its subsidiaries may be hiding a multitude of sins.
What has been hidden from the group’s auditors and the auditor-general, incorrectly reported in annual financial statements or simply not reported at all may be a ticking time bomb for landowners and the funds they have entrusted to MRDC.
Continue reading " Why all the secrecy? What is MRDC hiding?" »
Sir Mekere Morauta - New revelations affirm prime minister Marape’s decision to hold an inquiry into MRDC
SIR MEKERE MORAUTA
PORT MORESBY - New information about the scandal-plagued Mineral Resources Development Corporation has become available, reinforcing the urgent need for an inquiry into its operations and the status of the hundreds of millions of kina it manages on behalf of landowner companies.
There is now a mountain of allegations about MRDC and its landowner subsidiaries. I expect that in the coming weeks more will be revealed about their dubious activities and the real value of the investments they have made, purportedly in the interest of landowners.
Continue reading "Mountain of allegations about MRDC scandal" »
Patrick Pruaitch will go to PNG supreme court - apparently still sore at the failure of his tactics to deny James Marape's election as prime minister
SONALI PAUL | Reuters | Edited
MELBOURNE - Papua New Guinea’s supreme court will hear a challenge to the election of prime minister James Marape, a lawyer for opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch, who has taken the matter to court, said on Friday.
The case, set for Friday 20 September, adds to political turmoil that has delayed progress on two important resources projects in PNG this year: a K30 billion plan to double its gas exports, led by Exxon Mobil Corp and Total SA, and plans to build a major new gold mine, Wafi-Golpu, led by Newcrest Mining.
The PNG parliament elected Marape as prime minister in May, when his predecessor Peter O’Neill quit after losing support from his own party over a range of grievances, including a gas deal with France’s Total.
Continue reading "Marape election faces challenge in PNG supreme court this month" »
David Manning, whose replacement of Francis Tokura as acting police commissioner has created a few waves
BRYAN KRAMER MP | Minister for Police | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY – This week the National Executive Council (NEC) revoked the appointment of Acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura and appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations) David Manning in his place.
The reason behind this decision was twofold.
Firstly, to reinstate Mr Tokura to his substantive position as Deputy Police Commissioner for Bougainville to oversee the preparation and conduct of the Bougainville referendum in November.
Last week, member for South Bougainville Timothy Masiu raised an issue on the floor of Parliament over the decision to remove Mr Tokura as the head of Police on Bougainville, placing him as the Acting Commissioner for Police.
Continue reading "Kramer explains reasons for Tokura-Manning RPNGC switch" »
EDDIE TANAGO | Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - The stain of the SABL land grab is hanging over the head of the new Marape government.
It is now six years since a commission of inquiry reported to parliament revealing that over five million hectares of land had been stolen from local communities.
The commissioners recommended the leases be cancelled, yet six years later the nation is still in the dark as to how much land has been handed back to its rightful community owners.
Act Now! is calling on new Lands minister John Rosso to publish a full list of all the special agriculture leases detailing their current status so everyone can see which leases have been surrendered, which have been cancelled and which still remain in effect.
Continue reading "Marape must not take the O’Neill road on illegal land grabs" »