Rimua hit by corruption charges

RENDLE Rimua – often considered a right-hand man of Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma within industry circles – has reportedly been charged by Papua New Guinea’s fraud and anti-corruption squad.
Rimua hit by corruption charges Rimua hit by corruption charges Rimua hit by corruption charges Rimua hit by corruption charges Rimua hit by corruption charges

While Rimua was operating as a "caretaker" secretary for the Department of Petroleum and Energy, he was first appointed as DPE secretary back in 2007 under the Somare government.

According to The National, Rimua was arrested at Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby a week ago after returning from a Ministerial Development Corporation board meeting in Cairns.

After three hours of police questioning, he was reportedly charged with one count of official corruption, one count of abuse of office, another count of conspiracy and one count of misappropriation of public funds.

National Fraud and Anti-Corruption agency head Timothy Gitua told the PNG newspaper that the four charges stemmed from an allegation over falsely claiming public funds totalling more than 249,500 kina ($A111,330).

While Rimua's case has been deferred until May 7, DPE staff reportedly called on the government to appoint a secretary as Rimua's four-year term expired in April 2011.

Rimua had responsibility for organising meetings for the umbrella benefits-sharing agreement and licence-based benefit sharing agreements for the PNG LNG project.

Amid recent protests, PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill stripped the finance portfolio from Treasurer Don Polye almost two weeks ago due to failures with landowner payments under the PNG LNG project and cost overruns at the Ministry of Finance.

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