Once again the spineless, corrupt, incompetent daily newspapers have failed in their duty as journalists to keep the nation informed.
Rather than investigate the Duma scandal, they have published government propaganda, spin, deception and outright lies.
Evidence in the public domain and on social media - including this site, PNG Exposed and Niugini Outlook - demonstrates conclusively that State Enterprises Minister William Duma, Defence Minister Fabian Pok and Central Supply and Tenders Board chairman Phillip Eludeme have fraudulently obtained about K50 million from the Defence Force Relocation Program.
The evidence was not hard to get. 15 minutes on the IPA site and a couple of Google searches was enough to obtain the details of their fraud. A teaboy could have done the work.
There is much more to be uncovered about this scandal, but the people of PNG cannot depend upon the dailies to do the work they are supposed to do.
Evidence published by PNG Blogs, Niugini Outlook and PNG Exposed blog, plus prior information that is publicly available, shows that the Duma fraud is part of the wider corruption within the O’Neill Regime, State-Owned Enterprises, other State institutions and the business sector.
It warrants a full Commission of Inquiry.
THE PRIME MINISTER’S “INVESTIGATION”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he has ordered an internal “investigation” led by Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.
There is no need for an internal “investigation”. In the normal course of events the police Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman Commission should be running their own independent investigations.
The Chief Secretary, well known to be grossly corrupt himself (see the Finance Inquiry report and recommendations), should play no role in a proper, independent investigation.
The Prime Minister says he has received a report yesterday morning and that he “will go through the issues on hand and make a public statement in due course.”
This is an abuse of power and corrupt in itself. The Prime Minister is implicated in the Duma fraud, the wider wrong-doing that enabled it, and the subsequent attempts to cover it up.
Mr O’Neill should have nothing to do with any investigations of the Duma fraud, or of related matters.
His statement of involvement in the so-called “investigation” only heightens the credible suspicion that he is the primary mover and shaker in the cover-up. Just like he has been in the Parakagate scandal.
What are the terms of reference for this so-called O’Neill “investigation”? Who will lead it, and who else will be involved? When will it report and whom will it report to?
The Prime Minister’s “investigation” is not an investigation at all. It is a cover-up designed to protect himself, his government and his Ministers in election year.
It will be like all the other “investigations” Mr O’Neill has promised over the years. Nothing happens and scandal after scandal is swept under the carpet.
THE POLICE AND OMBUDSMAN COMMISSION
Both these important independent institutions have been prostituted and perverted by the Prime Minister. Both have puppet heads who ensure that the Prime Minister and his cronies are protected from investigation.
The investigatory requirements imposed upon the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate by the puppet Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, have effectively stopped progress on the investigations into the Prime Minister’s corrupt dealings in Parakagate and other matters.
Police Commissioner Baki and Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick will be working overtime to prevent any effective, transparent and independent investigation.
MORE ILLEGAL DUMA LAND-GRABBING
New evidence of Mr Duma’s land-grabbing frauds shows his investment company Kopana Investments benefited from secret deals with the then Lands Minister, Puka Temu.
Duma obtained 5 state leases on Paga Hill at the same time the Icelandic kon man Gummi Fridriksson fraudulently obtained almost 15 hectares of Motu-Koitabu on Paga Hill on which he plans to build a K3 billion “tourism park”.
International fraud investigator Dr Kristian Lasslett of the UK university-based State Crime Initiative has previously shown how many crooked politicians and their cronies are involved in the Fridriksson Paga Hill scam.
These include Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, crooked lawyer and O’Neill crony Jimmy Maladina, former Minister Michael Nali, former Moresby South MP Carol Kidu (on Fridriksson’s payroll) corrupt businessman Rex Paki, Moresby North-East MP Labi Amaiu and his father and former Minister Tom Amaiu.
A Commission of Inquiry must investigate this related deal as well as the Manumanu fraud.
WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?
The role of Kina Bank in laundering the proceeds of Duma’s fraud must also be investigated by an independent Commission of Inquiry – in particular whether it made any attempt to ascertain that the K50 million paid into Duma’s company account was obtained legally.
Secondly, Kina Bank must state where the money was transferred to – which bank and what account, or which individual, and the date on which any transfer was made – and whether it notified the appropriate authorities of this highly suspect transaction.
WHAT DID THE PRIME MINISTER AND PAUL NERAU DO?
A Commission of Inquiry must investigate the long delay by the Prime Minister in referring the fraud to the police and Ombudsman Commission.
It should cover all actions taken by the Prime Minister and Kumul Holdings chairman Paul Mr Nerau in this matter, and specifically whether either had any conversations or meetings with Minister Duma, Minister Pok and Mr Eludeme?
It needs to question Mr Nerau, including asking why he did not report the fraud to the police and the Ombudsman Commission?
Nerau has a long history of theft, fraud and misappropriation, notably the rape of the Bougainville Development Corporation of millions and millions of kina, which was a contributing factor in the Bougainville War.
THE ROLE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Mr O’Neill is sole shareholder and trustee of Kumul Consolidated Holdings and its subsidiaries and as such is ultimately responsible for the conduct of these State-Owned Enterprises.
Any investigation must be at arm’s length from the Prime Minister – certainly not one ordered by him – and conducted by reputable, independent judicial investigators, preferably with an international observer.
It must examine the failures of system and processes at Kumul Holdings that allowed this and other frauds to occur.
In particular a Commission of Inquiry should examine Mr O’Neill’s amendments to the IPBC Act (now the Kumul Holdings Act) in 2015, which removed important probity, transparency and accountability provisions which were introduced by then Minister Mekere Morauta only a few years before.
Mr O’Neill’s amendments appear to have been designed to let just such a fraud occur and for Kumul entities to become personal slush funds for himself, the State Enterprise Minister, PNC and business cronies.
Only a full Commission of Inquiry can establish the facts.
Not a fake cover-up Prime Ministerial “investigation”.