Corruption investigation launched

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has directed Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato and Attorney General Ano Pala to investigate claims made by Australian media last week in which two lawyers explained how regional leaders were able to launder money from PNG to Australia.
Corruption investigation launched Corruption investigation launched Corruption investigation launched Corruption investigation launched Corruption investigation launched

The footage was aired on SBS's Dateline program and then given to Fairfax media, where Greg Sheppard and Harvey Maladina were filmed by anti-corruption NGO Global Witness saying the only way to bribe foreign politicians and not get caught is by paying "small dribs and drabs".

The program can be viewed here:

O'Neill said it was not the place of the government to judge Sheppard and Maladina, but the comments made by the two are alarming and now subject to investigation in PNG.

"I have sought advice on the most effective way to have these claims investigated from all angles and now we are seeking to ensure that this process takes place in both countries relevant to the claims," he said.

"All people are innocent until proven guilty before the law, but suggestions of money laundering involving high level officials must be properly investigated.

"Now I expect relevant authorities will undertake their independent investigations and pursue the course of action that they see most appropriate."

He also said that PNG is trying very hard to shake off its reputation as a country with widespread corruption.

"For decades Papua New Guinea suffered at the hands of foreign and local people who sought to take advantage of the then young nation, and over the course of time legislation has been introduced to stop these activities," he said.

"Papua New Guinea of today is a country where there are checks and balances, where digital fingerprints are a tool of investigation and where we have access to the resources of international law enforcement to prevent illicit financial activities.

"We are part of a global legal and economic system where illegal practices of the past can be identified and dealt with."

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