By JACOB POK
A SENIOR civil servant facing misappropriation charges has been further slapped with four similar charges relating to the awarding of K10 million to Travel Air Ltd in March, The National reports.
William Sent, the suspended first assistant secretary of the infrastructure and economic division of the National Planning and Monitoring Department, was again charged yesterday with one count each of abuse of office, official corruption, misappropriation and conspiracy to defraud.
It brings to six the total charges against him.
The arrest was carried out by members of the Investigation Task-Force Sweep tasked by the government to investigated allegations of corruption in the National Planning and Monitoring department.
It is alleged that Sent had used his position in the department to assess and approve for payment a proposal by Travel Air, a business owned and operated by Kokopo businessman Eremas Wartoto.
He allegedly conspired with the then acting department secretary, Ruby Zarriga, then national planning and monitoring minister Paul Tiensten and Wartoto to facilitate the payment.
It was further alleged that he did so knowing that it would redirect funds earmarked in the 2011 development budget as airfreight subsidies for the benefit of rural communities in PNG that are serviced only by existing third level airlines and that he did so knowing well that the proposal was defective.
Sent was arrested on a court warrant on Saturday afternoon as he was about to board a flight to Mt Hagen and detained until a court bail could be organised for him.
He is expected to appear in court for mention today.
Task Force Sweep chairman, Sam Koim said the criminal process had commenced and Sent remained innocent until proven otherwise in court.