By ANGELINE KARIUS
THE main suspect involved in conning a local businessman in Madang into believing he was Department of National Planning and Monitoring secretary Joseph Lelang has been arrested and charged with two of his accomplices, The National reports.
Nelson Paniu, 42, of Bulian village in Manus was charged along with Patrick Guan, 23, of Kondan village in Kerowagi, Chimbu, and Wesley Pabulu, 36, from
All three were charged with two counts each of stealing under false pretence and conspiracy.
Paniu, a former policeman, conspired with his accomplices to steal from complainant Bobies Karbain from Bogia in Madang, according to police.
The incident occurred between Feb 14 and 18, where Karbain made two cash deposits of K1, 000 and K10, 000 into a BSP account number 1001629208 under the name Robert George.
The second payment was made after Paniu claimed that his wife had cancer and needed treatment in
Karbain was given a false copy of a K5 million department cheque serial number 241839 under the name of Kaborbor General Contractor Ltd, when he was asked to travel to
Karbain paid another K40, 000 to the accused upon request.
Paniu and his accomplices told Karbain, who was in Madang, that his K5 million cheque was ready and that an upfront payment was to be made before the cheque could be released.
It is understood that Karbain had submitted a K5 million cocoa and coconut rehabilitation project proposal through the department to help start his project.
Guan had his case adjourned after appearing for mention yesterday, however, Paniu and Pabulu are expected to appear before the Waigani committal court today.
Acting deputy police commissioner and chief of operations Fred Yakasa, when referring to this case, said the fight against graft would intensify due to theft and embezzlement was spiralling out of control.
He warned people to be wary of conmen and thieves who had become more daring and cunning in their illegal activities, adding that the theft of K5 billion over the years from the government is a good example of such crimes.