Fraudulent cases against PNG MPs gathering dust

Three men sat there, few computers, a single printer sitting idle at the entrance, no telephones, papers piled up, and folders everywhere one would guess none have been reopened or attempted to be read fraudulent case files in Papua New Guinea.

It was indeed sad to see one key directorate struggling to work day by day with hundreds of fraud complaints filed annually. 

To this end, no effort has been made by the government on how they can support and assist in investigating the corruption complaints due to manpower and resources shortages. 

The national anti-fraud and corruption directorate (NAFCD) is struggling to investigate multi-million kina fraud cases because they do not have stationery nor do they have a proper office. 

There are not enough investigators, and 31 fraud allegations filed against members of parliament continue to collect dust since last year. 

NAFCD director, chief inspector Robert Volo said since taking up the office early this year, a lot of readjustment are taking place, audits on office resources have been made and sent to police headquarters and with 15 new detectives to join the directorate this month. 

Chief Insp Volo could not give accurate figures of the cases under investigations and pending, however several questions raised by Post-Courier on their previous reports on record made by former director Chief Inspector Pare Kuiap of K8 million fraudulent funds of 31 fraud complaints filed against members of parliament from 2020 to October, 2022 is still pending. 

With the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) now soon to be in operational, the NAFCD will be playing an important role in ensuring any allegations are investigated. 

Post-Courier paid a visit to the office and were shocked at the sight with only three officers seated at the desks with stacks of files collecting dust around them. 

The unit handles high profile corruption cases involving leaders and it is struggling to operate at a time when the Government is also starving the Auditor General’s Office, the department of Rural Development – the state agency that audits the controversial District Services Improvement Program funds, Provincial Services Improvement Programs funds and the Ombudsman Commission. 

Furthermore, the government is now tabling amendments to the Organic law on the OC and what the results will be after amendments and the Media Development Policy

Last August, Post-Courier reported 26 matters lodged during elections including the discovery of K1.56 million at Komo airport, in Hela province and K200, 0000 (US$56,770) discovered in Jiwaka province to which detectives were working on the case, plus many others that are still under investigation. 

The Fraud director at the time Chief Insp Kuiap said many cases were reopened after the elections, however, the holdup was because they did have enough funds to send detectives traveling across the country to investigate cases. 

Volo said, a lot of changes and improvements have been affected with two hired vehicles given to his office last week from police headquarters and computers for detectives should be given by next month.