Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wartoto charged

Kokopo businessman Eremas Wartoto waving to the crowd from his Fokker 50 aircraft in Port Moresby last week.-Picture by EKAR KEAPU


KOKOPO businessman Eremas Wartoto has been arrested, questioned and charged by Port Moresby police, The National reports.
He was locked up at the Boroko police station for three hours yesterday before being released on a
K5,000 police bail.
Wartoto has been charged with misappropriation of K7 million of rehabilitation of education sector implementation (RESI) funding for the Kerevat National High School.
He confirmed with The National last night that his charges were in relation  to the school RESI funds.
The school funds involved more than K7 million made in two separate payments.
Special task force on corruption chairman Sam Koim told The National that Wartoto was also being investigated for the K10 million development funds from National Planning and Monitoring which he used to start his airline company, Travel Air, and "a myriad of other companies he owns or controls".
Wartoto, when contacted last night, said he would release a media statement today.
Koim said in a statement Wartoto was the first to be arrested by the task force appointed by the NEC on Aug 11 to investigate allegations of corruption at the department involving about K2 billion.
Yesterday's arrest related to more than K7 million that Wartoto had allegedly received through two separate payments for Kerevat National High School.
Koim said he was charged with misappropriation under section 383(A)(91) of the Criminal Code Act.
"As a matter of law, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He must now go through the normal criminal process in court to prove his innocence of the charge laid against him."
Wartoto is expected to appear in court this week.


  1. Anonymous7:33 PM

    Job well done, PNG !! The people in authority who authorised the payments must also meet their fates. Get them on the neck too please....

  2. Anonymous10:13 PM

    It is not up to the accused to prove his innocence (second last paragraph). It is up to the State to prove his guilt (which in this case appears to be the case).

  3. Anonymous11:51 AM

    it is one stupid act by the government to disrupt what is to be a successful locally owned airline company. Can't you all read between the lines and see the truth behind the motive of the arrest. It is more towards curbing a potential competitor in the aviation industry. Some greedy individuals are pulling the strings on their legal puppets and government officials to discredit Mr Wartoto. Wartoto has nothing to hide because he publicly said that he had received help from the government. By the way,the cost of a dash 8 plane is in the hundred millions, K10million is nothing but peanuts considering the fact that Wartoto will get another 6 of these aircrafts.