White collar crime crackdown

PNG PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill aims to introduce tough penalties for white collar crime, while the government’s finance department will face a corruption probe that could include Interpol and Australian Federal Police assistance.
White collar crime crackdown White collar crime crackdown White collar crime crackdown White collar crime crackdown White collar crime crackdown

"We must put strict penalties for the white collar crimes because there are many stealings and misuse of money," O'Neill told Parliament yesterday, according to The National.

"We must also increase penalties for these offences from mediocre to high, like the 3-5 year imprisonment can be brought to 10-15 years, depending on the judges' sentences."

The government is facing increased scrutiny on this issue from several fronts. Firstly, Travel Air entrepreneur Eremas Wartoto finally faced fraud charges over Kino 10 million of government funds yesterday.

The other big news is that Finance Secretary Steven Gibson and his deputy, Jacob Yafai, were suspended, with an investigation into their department planned.

O'Neill reportedly told Parliament he requested AFP and Interpol assistance to help PNG police and its anti-corruption Task Force Sweep.

The Post-Courier reported that Treasury would set aside K2 million for the investigation.

The investigation centres around K71.8 million paid for legal fees by the Finance Department which seemed to largely revolve around a single law firm.

Local media are not reporting the name of the firm because of concerns of breaching a court order, but several PNG blogs do not have these concerns.

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