Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Sweep ‘uncovers’ syndicates


THE Task Force Sweep has uncovered what it terms “systematic syndicates that collude to corrupt while huge sum of public monies have been misappropriated by persons in power for personal gain”, chairman Simon Koim said in a statement, The National reports.
Koim, in a two-page paid advertorial last Friday, said the proceeds of crime had been converted into private investments within Papua New Guinea and abroad.
He claimed that foreign countries like Australia were seemingly becoming another Cayman Islands where the perpetrators were readily allowed to invest their proceeds of crime.
Koim said individuals and groups registered as front companies (K2 companies) applied for, obtained and misappropriated public funds.
He said the Task Force Sweep needed more time and the continued support of the government to complete cases, recoup the proceeds of crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Koim said so far, two members of parliament, one former member and businessman, five senior public servants, one ministerial staff and one consultant had been charged with offences relating to their alleged involvement in the misappropriations of public funds.
He said to date, the total number of people arrested by the task force was 14 – 12 with alleged deals associated with the National Planning and Monitoring Department and two with the Health Department.
Koim said all processes had been completed and were now with the police prosecutors to ensure conviction was finally secured in court.
He said some of the public servants were suspended with pay.
He said the total number of public servants suspended was 13 from the National Planning and Monitoring, nine from health and two from Air Niugini – in relation to the flight by Paul Tiensten to Australia.
Koim said a number of people in leadership positions had been referred to the Ombudsman Commission for further investigations.
He added that the police financial intelligence unit and the public prosecutor’s office were also working to recover a number of properties which were identified as proceeds of crime and, once determined, would be forfeited to the state.

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