Paladin rejects AFR Manus report

IN RESPONSE to media reports about security and logistics firm Paladin and its work on Manus Island for the Australian government, the company’s director Ian Stewart has responded.
Paladin rejects AFR Manus report Paladin rejects AFR Manus report Paladin rejects AFR Manus report Paladin rejects AFR Manus report Paladin rejects AFR Manus report

Ian Stewart

Staff Reporter

He says that Paladin has a proud history of providing discreet services to its clients in culturally sensitive ways since 2007, including in partnership with landowners on Manus Island since 2013.
"We do not have any bad debts or failed contracts. We do not make payments that are not linked to a service. We reject the notion in the media that any contract with a Papua New Guinea entity is tainted by corruption - we find this notion offensive.
"We take our responsibility in providing services incredibly seriously and our number one priority at all times is the safety, security and wellbeing of our staff, the local community and those in our care.
"Paladin has been concerned by recent reporting in the media, in particular, the story published by the Australian Financial Review on February 11, titled ‘Bad debts, failed contracts across Asia trail Manus contractor Paladin'.
"This article has failed to identify any evidence to sustain the damaging allegations being made against Paladin. We are concerned that other media outlets have been repeating these claims without undertaking appropriate due diligence to verify them.
"Paladin considers these are unsubstantiated allegations and we are seeking legal advice on our options for a full retraction and correction of the article, including re-reporting by other agencies.
"This statement clarifies our relationship with High Risk Security Group (Asia-Pacific) Unipessoal Lda and its related Australian entity HRSG Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN 83 614 059 577) of Level 2, 128-134 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500 (High Risk Group Companies). Neither business is owned, managed or controlled in any way by Paladin, its owners or Directors. We understand there is some confusion in the media around these unrelated entities and any potential bad debts and failed contracts that may be attributed to them.
"We further clarify that High Risk Security Group Pty Ltd (ABN 64 144 000 573) is the original name of Paladin Group Pty Ltd, recently changed to Paladin Aus Pty Ltd (Paladin Aus). Notwithstanding the similarities in names, we can confirm that there was some discussion in 2009 about Paladin Aus and the High Risk Group Companies pursuing work together. This did not eventuate, and the entities are and always have been completely separate. In fact, Paladin has operated in competition to HRSG in Timor Leste under Sentinel Unipessoal Lda since 2015.
"Further, we take this opportunity to advise that Paladin Aus Pty Ltd has no service delivery contracts in Australia and as such had been registered at a private residential address. This address has now been changed to a serviced office in Canberra.
"We absolutely support the stated position of the Speaker of the PNG parliament and Acting Governor General of PNG, Job Pomat, in his claims that he is not a party to any business by Paladin, its subcontractors (including Peren Investments Limited) and partners (including Pomwan Paladin Security Limited). We recognise the Speaker as a man of absolute integrity, a leader of his people and a respected clan leader in Manus Province. Peren Investments Limited represents the traditional custom landowners for the site of ELRTC in Lorengau under the leadership of Kepo Pomat," Stewart said.