Thursday, September 29, 2011

Police disband NCD fraud squad


POLICE Commissioner Tony Wagambie has disbanded the National Capital District command centre and its fraud squad without explaining to his officers the reason, The National reports.
Attempts last night to contact Wagambie for a comment were unsuccessful.
But the Assistant Police Commissioner and NCD central divisional commander Fred Seekiot confirmed the move.
Seekiot said he had received instructions that the NCD fraud squad be disbanded and that the officers had been given until 10am today to vacate their offices.
NCD metropolitan commander Supt Joseph Tondop also confirmed receiving the instruction but declined to comment further.
A member of the NCD fraud squad confirmed receiving the instructions to disband the unit.
Seekiot said the letter from Wagambie did not give any reason as to why they were to be removed, and only stated that the "reasons were only known to him (the commissioner)".
Seekiot said he would be replaced by Assistant Commissioner Awen Sete.
He also revealed that Tondop would be replaced by the Morobe provincial police commander Peter Gui­ness.
He said they had been informed that the NCD fraud unit would be moved to the national anti-fraud and corruption headquarters at Konedobu.
Reliable sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said last night the decision was suspicious because it came at a time when high-profile fraud cases were being handled by the NCD fraud squad under the command of Seekiot and Tondop.
It included the K50 million Nasfund cases, Pacific Balance funds fraud case, and the K100,000 National Museum and Art Gallery case in which senior banker Aho Nollen Baliki appeared in court this week to answer charges of conspiring to defraud.
On that same case, police are looking for the museum board of trustees president Julius Violaris for questioning.
The sources said alleged fraud in the lands department in which the acting secretary had been implicated, the national planning anomalies and the public prosecutor case were among the ongoing high-profile cases being investigated by the NCD command.
The sources said the decision could affect the cases, some of which were pending in court.

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