The Duma-Pok-Eludeme fraud over land at Manumanu is only one of a number of corrupt O’Neill Regime activities that are undermining national security and the national interest.
They also include frauds against the Defence Department by Defence Minister Pok and his brother-in-law, Defence Secretary John Asi, and the Prime Minister’s facilitation of the granting of illegal citizenship to Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra (Joe Chan).
First, the Manumanu fraud.
A very senior PNGDF Maritime Officer has revealed that the Manumanu land fraud is a risk to national security.
In a Facebook post Karry Frank, a ranking officer, says the Navy project team for the relocation of Lancron advised the Defence Force Commander, the Defence Minister and the Defence Secretary not to relocate to Manumanu.
“The project team recommended moving to Motukea, a move that was previously agreed to by all parties concerned,” he wrote.
“Manumanu is absolutely NOT suitable for a Naval base that accommodates on average six ships at once.”
He also says not a single Naval officer was present to give expert advice when the decision to relocate Lancron to Manumanu was made.
The only people who are the experts on this subject were not consulted, he wrote.
“It will appear that the Defence Council comprising the Minister, Secretary and the Commander had other motives. None of these three have a Naval background to make a decision without the Navy's input.”
Mr Frank says his views are based on comments from Commander Herbert Poha, the leader of the Lancron relocation project team.
Similar views have been expressed on Facebook by former Defence Force commander Jerry Singirok.
“There is no economic, political or security sense in the relocation of Landcron, which is co-located near a busy sea lane and at the entrance of an international sea port,” he wrote.
The threat to national security of the proposed relocation of Lancron to Manumanu is one of the reasons the Prime Minister is anxious to cover up the details of the scandal by holding a fake “internal investigation” headed by his corrupt Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.
His cover-up extends beyond the stand-over tactics he has used in Parliament to prevent questioning of Pok, Duma, Eludeme and others involved in the fraud.
He has instructed Immigration officials to prevent Kumul Consolidated Holdings CEO Garry Hersey, who was in charge of the Manumanu deal, from re-entering PNG.
This is a standard O’Neill tactic – he employed it to put his co-conspirators Jimmy Maladina and Ken Barker outside the reach of the law during investigations of the National Provident Fraud.
Hersey, who is being used as the scapegoat for the Lancron relocation fraud within Kumul Holdings, was prevented from boarding a plane in Hong Kong to return from his holidays.
This means Hersey is now beyond the reach of investigators.
O’Neill’s cover-up also extends deep into Kumul Holdings, which he is in charge of as sole shareholder and trustee.
Kumul Holdings staff confronted chairman Paul Nerau about the fraud and his untrue denial that he knew anything about it prior to January this year.
Staff told Nerau, who is the main defrauder of millions of kina from the Bougainville Development Corporation and architect of many other scams, that they knew of his involvement in the scandal.
They demanded that he tell the truth and provide all the details of his involvement. He refused.
O’Neill is also using Personnel Management Secretary John Kali as part of the cover-up to prevent Department of Defence whistleblowers from revealing another grand fraud instigated by Pok and his brother-in-law, Defence Secretary Vali Asi.
The whistleblowers, who were sacked by Kali when they followed proper procedures and reported Pok and Asi’s corruption to him, are known to be concerned about the threat to national security by the Defence Department corruption.
Rather than refer the allegations to the proper authorities including the Fraud Squad and Ombudsman Commission, Kali referred them back to Pok, Asi and Public Service Minister Puka Temu, who is also engaged in land frauds with State Enterprise Minister Duma and others.
Minister Pok and secretary Asi have mismanaged and misappropriated almost K20 million in housing, vehicle, medical and other allowances including cash advances and Duma’s Manumanu fraud.
Pok is known to have received a secret pay-off of K8.5 million as part of the Duma fraud, which was partly facilitated through the Defence Department and Ministry.
The scale of the Pok-Asi frauds is also evident from Auditor-General reports on the Defence Department.
Defence sources say such widespread corruption has seriously weakened the department’s capacity for policy analysis and advice, and that therefore national security and the nation’s strategic interests have been severely weakened.
They also say it has left the Ministry and the Department open to foreign influence including from Indonesia, Malaysia and China, whose agents have compromised Ministers and senior public servants through bribery, prostitution, and drugs.
They now question the role of the Defence Force Commander, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, in Duma’s Manumanu fraud and in Pok’s Defence Department scam. Toropo was personally appointed by O’Neill and is from the same Southern Highlands Province.
Under Toropo, Defence Force discipline has collapsed altogether, and he has been accused of favoring recruitment of other Southern Highlanders, in particular those from Mr O’Neill’s Ialibu-Pangia electorate.
He is also accused of sheltering the soldiers involved in a recent armed attack on Boroko Police Station and Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi.
The Prime Minister’s facilitation of Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra’s citizenship has already led to significant shifts in PNG foreign policy, and increased concerns that the national interest is being bought off.
O’Neill personally oversaw the admission of Indonesia to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in exchange for Indonesia dropping its attempts to have Tjandra extradited back to his home country, where he is wanted for massive fraud.
This has created significant tensions within the Melanesian Spearhead Group and growing antipathy towards Papua New Guinea by other member countries.
The national reputation and strategic interests have been damaged
In the Tjandra case O’Neill is also protecting the corrupt interests of two of his other Ministers, Puka Temu (again) and Attorney-General Ano Pala.
Both are believed to be receiving secret commissions for promoting Tjandra’s Naima Rice Project in Central Province, and to have been involved in facilitating Tjandra’s access to land title and favoured tax treatment and import concessions.
So what is the state of play at present?
• The K800m Defence Force Relocation Program is stalled, possibly irretrievably.
• The Defence Force itself has gained nothing from Duma’s Manumanu fraud.
• Kumul Consolidated Holdings likewise has gained nothing and may have lost the entire K50 million paid to Duma.
• The Defence Department has been compromised and left open to foreign manipulation.
• PNG is despised by sections of MSG because of the sell-out to Indonesia.
• The nation’s strategic interests and national security have been prostituted.
• Various O’Neill cronies have enriched themselves at public expense to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
Nothing the Prime Minister can say or do now will alter these facts, least of all his internal “investigation”, which is in reality a cover-up.