Namah harassment scandal

INVESTIGATIONS of Sydney’s Star Casino have reportedly revealed that Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah sexually harassed a male blackjack dealer while he was drunk last year – a claim denied by Namah’s lawyer.
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Well known for being one of the richest men in PNG's Parliament, Namah was still in PNG's opposition at the time the matter took place (April 2011), according to Fairfax media which obtained staff incident reports.

The incident reports were released by the Sydney Morning Herald.

While the names mentioned are blacked out with a marker, in one of the reports it is still possible to read that "Belden Norman Namah" was the "player in question" because this name was not blacked out enough.

Yet Namah's lawyer Greg Sheppard told the Sydney newspaper that Namah did not misconduct himself at the casino last year.

"Until we are provided with the incident reports in question, Mr Namah is unable to comment further on how his name appears on these reports, except to say that if it does, they are mistaken," Sheppard reportedly said.

Using the incident reports, the newspaper reported that Namah and two of his colleagues were gambling at the Sovereign room for high rollers before a blackjack dealer asked Namah to stop drinking.

According to the blackjack dealer's statement, the player alleged to be Namah then began teasing the dealer and asked for the dealer's mobile phone number and more.

"Even worse he said to me ‘can I love you, you are so pretty to me'," the blackjack dealer said in his incident report.

"I reply to him ‘I am a boy, [I] cannot love you'."

The incident reports also detailed how the player was later removed by security from the casino and threatened a security guard in the process.

Elizabeth Ward is pursuing an unfair dismissal case against the casino where she was a former duty manager.

Ward told the Sydney Morning Herald that "the minister from a neighbouring government" was allowed back into the casino several hours after being removed once casino executives realised he and his two friends had deposited $A800,000 in a casino account to gamble.

The New South Wales government is investigating Star Casino over allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment and there are claims that high roller players were given overly lenient treatment.

The staff incident reports released by the newspaper can be found here*.

*Some language used in the reports might be considered offensive.

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