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By Jeffrey Elapa in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s government has appealed to the Australian Federal Police and the Singapore Police to assist PNG police to link money laundering trails.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister James Marape said Australia and Singapore had been the major hub of transit for possible money laundering activities.

He wants help from police in the two countries to assist PNG police in their fight against corruption in the country.

“We are fighting corruption. For instance, we are following the footprints of the [A$1.2 billion Swiss bank] UBS money that has gone deeply rooted so our police are working on it,” he said.

“Therefore I want to encourage police in Singapore and police in Australia assist PNG police to deal with money laundered from PNG.

“I want to appeal again to the Australian police and Singaporean police to assist our police and I make this statement as the Prime Minister of this country.

“And in the case of UBS, we have made [a] deep incision, we are following the money trail, the entire loot that was looted from this country,” he said.

‘Prioritise law and order’
“I want to give commendation to the Police Commissioner, David Manning — he is not here to stop tribal fights; stopping tribal fights is the job of our members of Parliament.

“Governors you have PSIP (constituency development funds) funds so prioritise law and order using your funds, do not wait for police commissioners to come and stop tribal fights.

“PNG has been labelled a corrupt country so I don’t want to leave this label for the next 20 years so we have to make an example out of other existing corruption that has been documented and evidence are used.

“And the ICAC [Independent Commission Against Corruption] commission of inquiry has sufficient evidence for us to pursue our efforts to fight corruption.

“I will indicate to this House that we will bring to this floor of Parliament the Finance Inquiry again and other inquiries that are outstanding.

“We will revisit if they are not time bound but we will not limit the limited police capacity so that is why I appeal to Singapore police and Australia police to assist my policemen to link to the money trails,” the Prime Minister said.

“Monies do not hide, monies move from one bank account to another bank account, forensic auditors and investigators will follow the money trials and our police are working as part of the law and order conversation, focusing on our country like fighting corruption like never before,” he said.

Marape said the ICAC, Ombudsman Commission and police would work in partnership in the pursuit to address corruption in the country.

He said with the efforts to strengthening the work of the ICAC, three commissioners had been appointed while a third Ombudsman commissioner would be appointed this week.

Jeffrey Elapa is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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