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By Miriam Zarriga in Port Moresby

A man was held by Papua New Guinean security personnel in Hela Province on Saturday after he was found to have in his possession K1.56 million (about NZ$715,000) in cash carried in a suitcase.

The man, who police identified as a local, allegedly told security personnel that the money was “to fund the polling”.

Papua New Guinea’s general election begins today.

However, when he was questioned further, he recanted his initial statement and said the cash was “for his company”.

Police Commissioner David Manning said that investigations continue into the cash possession and what it was meant for.

Security sources said they were tipped off about the cash in the flight for Komo.

About 30 men disembarked and were searched by security personnel.

Clutching a suitcase
During the search, security personnel noticed the suspect clutching a suitcase as hand luggage.

When security personnel opened the suitcase, they found the bundles of cash in K50, K100 and K20 notes.

They took the suspect to Komo police station and then transferred with the cash to Tari police station.

It is expected he will be taken to Mt Hagen where he will be charged by police.

Police will continue their investigations.

Miriam Zarriga is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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