O’Neill’s appointment as Finance Minister a cruel joke from a corrupt government

PNGEXPOSED

Prime Minister Michael Somare’s appointment of MP Peter O’Neill as Treasury and Finance Minister looks like an unmitigated disaster as Mr O’Neill has a very slippery past and was heavily involved in the National Provident Fund fraud.

Peter O’Neill was one of the three people who orchestrated the NPF Tower Fraud. He helped steal millions from the retirement savings of ordinary Papua New Guineans and he has never been brought to justice.

Mr O’Neill, Jimmy Maladina and Herman Leahy shared in the K2.5 million from the scam.
There was a Commission of Inquiry into the NPF. It recommended various people be prosecuted for stealing, amongst other offences. One of them was Peter O’Neill.

In what is now known as the Tower Fraud, Kumugai Gumi were contracted to build what is now known as Deloitte Tower in Port Moresby – a large multiple story office building. The original contract price was about K47 Million. But will Bill Skate and his boys badly managing and plundering the country, the Kina was on the slide – from 1:1 with the Australian Dollar in 1997 it had quickly slid to K1 = .75c in 1998/99

Kumugai Gumi began to hurt. The building of the tower was not a hugely profitable project and was really a vehicle to entrench them in the market in PNG. It was however relying upon materials from overseas, and it was going to do very badly on the project if there wasn’t a contract variation to allow an increased payment to cope with the exchange rate variation.

Herman Leahy was the in house lawyer at NPF. The legal work on this contract was actually briefed out to a private firm – Carter Newell, a firm in which Jimmy Maladina was a partner when he was appointed Chair of the Board of NPF. Carter Newell gave advice to NPF that NPF didn’t have to pay any extra money to KG.

Knowing this, Maladina and Peter O’Neill hatched a plan – that Jimmy would call the boss of KG in, and tell him that he would get him a contract variation of K3.3 million BUT that KG would have to ask for K5.8 million and that Jimmy would ensure that KG would be paid the K5.8 million, but that then KG would have to pay K2.5 to Jimmy (and then Jimmy was to share that with Peter and Herman). The Japanese boss of KG, who didn’t speak English very well, refused. Jimmy then told him that KG would never get an increase in the contract unless it was according to Jimmy’s plan. Jimmy also told the KG boss he had friends in high places including the PM, and that the KG boss had no-one to complain to. The KG boss left Jimmy’s office and did not agree initially to the arrangement but more pressure was later put him by Jimmy, and he eventually agreed.

So the K5.5 million was paid by NPF to KG as a contract variation, and KG duly paid Jimmy the K2.5million. Then Jimmy shared it with Peter O’ Neill and Leahy.

The Commission of Inquiry traced the K2.5 million through Jimmy and Peter to a total of 13 more people, including Herman Leahy. They didn’t hide their tracks well. Peter used the money to pay American express bills and his Aviat club membership etc. All copies of bank statements and original cheques were obtained. It also helped the Commission as KG executives agreed to give evidence against Peter and Jimmy and Herman in the hope that they would not be prosecuted. All the evidence was put before the Commission and it recommended Jimmy and Peter and the others for prosecution. The final report came out in 2003.

Jimmy fled the country. Eventually he came back and he and Herman were initially charged, but their cases were individually thrown out by magistrates.

Herman was then indicted by the Public Prosecutors’ Office, which he appealed and finally after a couple of years the court decided to reject his appeal.

ONLY About a month ago it was announced in the newspapers that there would be a joint trial for Jimmy and Herman.

Peter O’Neill has NEVER been charged.

This is what the NPF Commission of Inquiry said about Peter O’Neill

“…the commission made a thorough study of Port Moresby First National Real Estate’s accounts and traced all moneys paid in and out on account of Mr O’Neill. 
This conclusively showed that Mr O’Neill had definitely benefitted from the proceeds of the NPF Tower fraud. It also showed that, despite his denial’s, Mr O’Neill is the beneficial owner of PMFNRE and that Mr Sullivan and Mr Awela are his nominee shareholders.
It is quite clear that there is a relationship between Mr Maladina and Mr O’Neill whereby they have benefitted jointly from the NPF Tower fraud.”

This is what the NPF Commission of Inquiry said about the K2.5 million

“This claim was spurious and was agreed upon between Mr Maladina and Kumagai Gumi managers (under pressure from Mr Maladina) to enable the money to be channelled through Kumagai Gumi and on paid for the benefit of Mr Maladina, with shares for Mr Leahy and Mr O’Neill (through the account of Carter Newell and PMFNRE).
NPF is entitled to recover this K2.505 million.”

12 comments:

  1. With Peter O’Neill installed as Minister for Finance despite the findings of fraud against him in the NPF Commission of Inquiry, it is worth reflecting on the Post Courier editorial published on the 10th of April 2003. An editorial which posed the question of where we are going as a Nation when we fail to take action against those implicated in “the greatest scandal ever in the history of PNG”

    Lack of action: We are all losers

    THIS is the last update we will publish on the National Provident Fund Commission of Inquiry findings.

    Over the last 85 editions, the Post-Courier published 97 pages of extracts from the NPF Report as well as a Scoreboard on the referrals made to the various national institutions for further action.

    The pages this newspaper had committed to the NPF Report amounted to a revenue of more than K224,000 which we did not collect.

    That was the cost of bringing this report to the people of Papua New Guinea — more specifically thousands of contributors to the National Provident Fund who lost millions of kina in life savings they will never ever reclaim.

    For them the only satisfaction will be to see justice done — that those responsible for this greatest scandal ever in the history of PNG face the law and answer for their actions.

    We have no regrets at what may seem to be lost revenue. We did so in good faith and in the public interest because of our firm commitment to fight corruption at all levels in our society.

    This may mark the end of the published extracts from the NPF Report but our commitment and resolve to rid corruption from this great nation remains as strong as ever.

    We are committed to working in partnership with all our partners in the Community Coalition Against Corruption and the great Institutions of State to ensure justice prevails in PNG — for without it there is no future for our children and future generations.

    We are committed to supporting all efforts being made to ensure our people live and enjoy the fruits of a just, open society with systems that ensure transparency and accountability in leadership at all levels.

    A society where every man, woman and child is given an equal opportunity to realise their full potential as free citizens of this nation.

    Corruption is a deadly form of cancer that is eating away at the social fabric of PNG. A major surgery is required to remove it before it engulfs the whole body and soul of our land.

    There is a ray of hope out there in the community that gives us confidence that even if action on the referrals contained in the NPF Report is delayed, we know that there is a coalition of many individuals and groups in this country who have a voice loud enough to remind the institutions of State of their duties and responsibility to implement the recommendations of the report.

    Today’s public forum asks the most pertinent question about the referrals: What action?

    As this forum gets underway in Port Moresby, the final report of another commission of inquiry — the Commission of Inquiry into the Defence Force Retirement Benefits Fund will be presented to the Prime Minister.

    We have yet to see one successful prosecution out of the NPF Commission of Inquiry Report and we have another report soon to be tabled in Parliament.

    The contents of that report will remain secret until it is actually tabled in the House. Only then will we know what the inquiry has found.

    Will there be another public forum to ask the same question: What Action?

    Both reports are a sad indictment of the direction our country has taken in the last few years.

    We say that the elite of this nation ought to feel guilty about not doing the right thing by their people.

    So much hope and confidence was placed on so many of our elite citizens but they have failed their people.
    All of us are the ultimate losers.

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  2. bai yumi tok wanem, if you cant beat them join them....HE LOOKS MORE LIKE A CROOK WITH THOSE KILLER LOOKS,

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  3. PM's view has been that, he wants to work with the Devil he knows than the Devil he does not know. If anything every politician seems to be a devil (The countrys lack of development is the indication)so why point the finger at O Neil. Out finger pointing seems to infer that he is not the Devil we know.

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  4. BLOODY CROCK!!!!! MR CROOK AND BLOODY CROOK!!!!!!!! NOGAT SHAME BILONG YU....

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  5. Where are the rural majority???? The peoples power???? Crooks are they and crooks will they be unless of course nothing but blood has to be spilt to put PNG back on tract from corrupt bureaucracy & government. Nothing will work for small rural people like me because the minority has the money to buy & suppress, bend rules and laws of this beautiful country.

    Nothing but blood!!! not rhetorhic... not fair play .... but blood!!!!!

    Evassive are they.. They are in control of money but peoples power. The rural peoples power is a luxury they can not afford...Any ears out there?

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  6. THIS IS PNG ANYTHING HAPPENS, PETER O'NEILL A FRAUDSTER NOW LOOKING AFTER OUR NATIONS FINANCES?

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  7. Blood, Sweat and Tears...we need a coup like Fiji because the govt is inept...!

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  8. Somare is going long^2. BADS do not make RIGHT. Worse is expected,,,,, PNG needs to action...Coup is ok... i reakon there is a need to create Terrorist here to weed out this corrupt leaders.. other nations are doing this, why not PNG????

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  9. It will come to a stage when this is gonna happen, the people have not really felt the pain of suffering because they still own their own land,

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  10. PETER ONEILL STOLE FROM PNG, HE HID EVERYTHING THAT WOULD CONNECT HIM AND MALADINA, HE MANAGE TO RIDE THE WAVE AND IS NOW IN CHARGE OF OUR NATION'S FINANCES, WOW, HE PLAYED HIS CARDS BRILLIANTLY, HE IS POISED TO STEAL MORE MILLIONS WHILE WE THE SCUM AND STUPID PEOPLE FROM PANGIA AND IALIBU KEEP HIM IN POWER, OUR POPULATION IS SET TO TRIPLE, WARLORDS WILL RISE, THE BATTLE BEGINS FOR THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS.... PNG WE ARE DOOM, SERIOUSLY F$#KING DOOMed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Thanks for putting the spotlight on this figure, I still have my doubts about him being placed with a very powerful position, this was not so long ago with people like him, the late Bill Skate and Maladina with Viviso Seravo who drained out NPF, people need to wake up, read the NPF Reports online at the Post Courier website (its still there), he is heavily implicated he used his real estate firm, First National Real Estate as a clearing house for all the money that he (O'Neill) and Maladina sucked off from the Japanese construction firm Kamugai Gumi, we really do have a short memory when we keep protecting crooks like these people, Only crooks promote crooks and Somare is no different than a common thief putting up this clown to look after money that deserves to be used for development goals. These are the people who need to be locked up, not Kapris, I dont condone Kapris but it seems the bigger you are, its hard for you to fall and the smaller you are its easier for you to be found, totally polar opposites.

    Sick and fed up already

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  12. ... they are all fuckn crooks.. the grand chief, belden, peter, n the lot are all fuckn crooks.. but its even gona be worse now with belden at the helm with his henchman peter behind him.. Crooks ought to be slaughted to be replaced by people who have PNG at Heart n who are honest n transparent. We have a lot of good PNGns, but they are not elected in, becoz the voters are themselves corrupted to to hve their own at the haus tambaran.. This calls for a fuckn bloodshed, so we can right the wrong..

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