The alleged US$40 million offshore bank account has resurfaced and it seems is far from over with two media organisations the Post Courier and Sunday Chronicle submitting documents with some information to the Ombudsman Commission.
TIPNG suggests that the matter also be put in the hands of the police and anti-money laundering officials. This is a matter far too large to be dealt with by the Ombudsman Commission and Leadership Tribunal which can only impose a maximum penalty of three years’ suspension.
TIPNG is concerned that this issue that has again been brought to light by a second newspaper has been taken as mere speculation by the government and has been so far tight lipped over the issue regardless of the serious nature of the funds being illegally siphoned from proceeds of log exports from Papua New Guinea.
TIPNG says in light of the story resurfacing in the media (Sunday Chronicle 17/08/08) showing that the account has been traced from Singapore to Australia and eventually to PNG, it is calling on the government to move now and institute appropriate investigations into these allegations and clear the air about this issue.
TIPNG says there cannot be smoke without fire and according to the stated reports there is the involvement of a PNG based organisation and the Bank of Papua New Guinea which is a serious matter that really requires the government to step in and investigate.
The people of PNG are being kept in suspense when nothing is done and want to see some positive action being taken by the government to ensure good governance practices are observed. The landowners are also reported to be angry about the alleged diversion of their rightful funds and the matter needs a thorough investigation rather than being continually ignored by the Government.
Particularly the Forest Minister should make it his business to spearhead or call for an investigation into the allegations about the stated US$67 million account.
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