Posts Tagged ‘Gary Juffa’

Court order confirms landowners victory over Malaysian land grabbers

May 25, 2014 Leave a comment

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Oro government leads in the fight against illegal land grabbing

April 16, 2014 2 comments


Gary Juffa opposition to SABL land grab exposes Peter O'Neill's inaction

Gary Juffa opposition to SABL land grab exposes Peter O’Neill’s inaction

While PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill sits on his hands refusing to cancel unlawful SABL leases and stop illegal logging, the Oro Provincial government is standing with its people against the Malaysian led land grab.

In a statement issued overnight, Oro Governor Gary Juffa has again committed his government to assist landowners:

“That the Oro Government stands by its people in fighting against land grabbing, illegal logging and is willing to support their court cases with its own legal team and attending as a party to all cases of such.

“We are also taking to task several companies who have obtained land illegally and will fight all this through the courts of PNG.

“My Government has placed a moratorium on all land dealings in Oro and it is still very much in force and will be with all dealings to be reviewed by a committee established at some time in the future.

“As for landgrabbers and their pokies playing, beer swilling, corridor walking scamming and scheming – Oro is closed for illegal business…we welcome genuine investors only…”

The position of the Oro Provincial government stands in stark contrast to the position of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who continues to protect the Malaysian logging companies who are making huge profits from their stolen timber.

Peter O’Neill has failed to implement the recommendations of the recent SABL land grab Commission of Inquiry which found the SABL leases had been unlawfully and fraudulently issued. The Commission recommended the unlawful leases be immediately revoked, but the Peter O’Neill led government has done nothing with those findings.


Juffa criticizes Housing Corporation

November 7, 2013 1 comment


Oro Governor, Gary Juffa has criticized the National Housing Corporation for eviction people without having alternate plans.

Governor Juffa said NHC has a record of carrying out evictions and then selling properties to foreign entities.


His criticisms come after the business arm of NHC, National Housing Estate Limited issued a warning to tenants of 5-mile, 3-mile and Saraga in the nation’s capital.

Making reference to the North Waigani Hostel eviction earlier this year, Governor Juffa accused the government for neglecting its people.

He said NHC, is a government institution that’s supposed to serve the interest of its people.

His view on the seven days’ notice issued to tenants in three NHC properties in NCD is that the government is unfair on Papua New Guineans.

The Governor made an appeal to the Housing Minister and NHE management to refrain from issuing eviction notices if they do not have a plan to address the ongoing housing problems.

He questioned why properties were sold to foreign entities and if the government was doing its duty in serving the interest of the people.

A former public servant, Governor Juffa is aware of the high rate of housing rentals in the city and the hardships faced by public servants in trying to find a roof over their head.

Seventeen months but still no justice for the people of Oro

June 4, 2013 2 comments

It is now 17 months since we first exposed the criminal misuse of Restoration Funds in Oro Province but, despite the attentions of the police, Ombudsman Commission and local politicians, there has still been no justice for the long suffering people.

This is how we first exposed the scam:

Within days we were told the police were to make arrests: Sacked financial controller to be arrested for fraud

But still the revelations about the extent of the corruption kept coming:

The police stepped up their investigation: Oro duo wanted for stealing property

Within weeks the of the exposure, the Ombudsman Commission promised an investigation: Ombudsman Commission to probe Oro disaster funds.

There was even a short documentary on the scandal: Rising from the Rubble.

Yet we are now 17 months on and there is still there is no justice for the people of Oro Province and our politicians are still crying their  crocodile tears:

Spending questioned at PNG Authority tasked with cyclone rehab

Radio New Zealand

Questions have been raised about a body set up to help fix damaged infrastructure in Oro Province after the devastating Cyclone Guba hit Papua New Guinea in 2007.
The Oro Restoration Authority was established by the government as a result of the cyclone, given nine million US dollars and tasked with restoring basic services to the villages.
The MP for Sohe in Oro Province, Delilah Gore, says the cyclone, which killed at least 170 people, destroyed many bridges, roads, and basic services.
She says in her electorate they haven’t seen any improvements.
“The Restoration Authority was put in place by the previous government, nothing has been done so far so I raised it on the floor with the hope that this government will take note of that and revive the restoration and do new appointments, give money so they can restore services, especially the infrastructure.”
The Governor of Oro Province, Gary Juffa, says he has already taken steps to investigate the Authority and says if people are found to have misused funding, they’ll be dealt with accordingly.

PNG’s Juffa seeks new approach to policing

April 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Radio New Zealand

The outspoken Papua New Guinea MP Gary Juffa says to address the country’s chronic law and order problems requires a holistic approach.

The Governor of Oro Province, Mr Juffa says among the priorities for PNG should be to modernise the police force, replenish the prosecutorial offices and bolster the judiciary.

He says that as well as a large number of violent crimes that need investigating, there is a lot of white-collar crime which PNG must deal with.

Gary Juffa spoke to Johnny Blades about his ideas for addressing the law and order crisis.

JUFFA: “The police has not been developed and modernised over a period of years, I would say, since independence. If you look at the population of PNG as it is now, it’s between 7 million and 8 million. The population of PNG at independence was about 2.8 million thereabouts. The police staff ceiling was 4,000, 5,000 officers. That staff ceiling has not improved till now. It’s still 5,000 officers. You’ve got an ageing force, you’ve got a huge population. You’ve got an increase in the types of crimes. There’s complex violent crimes, there’s complex fraud and so forth, and the police are just unable to cope because they just do not have the resources, nor do they have the manpower, the numbers. Morale is down. They need to modernise and modify themselves to cope with the problems they face in today’s world.”

BLADES: “Is the O’Neill government doing anything about this, do you think? Significant moves?”

JUFFA: “I’m satisfied that they are making a significant move in that direction. They’ve just carried out a modernisation program and they are now in the process of trying to recruit more policemen. You have a recruitment program annually so that these numbers can be improved. They are trying to look at the ageing force and retiring a number of the upper echelon of the police so they can bring in new officers. They’re also looking at creating an independent commission against corruption, a new body that will have federal powers to investigate serious corruption in the country.”

BLADES: “Will this just follow on from Sam Koim’s team?”

JUFFA: “I think the intention is to give some more resources and definition to that taskforce. Sam Koim’s taskforce, which has been doing a tremendous job under very harsh conditions or restrictions, they’ve achieved a lot and I would support that bill.”

BLADES: “Do you think that taskforce is going to be able to see through some prosecution? Obviously they’re not doing the prosecution. Do you think it’ll come about, because there are going to be some high-level embarrassments?”

JUFFA: “What has happened here is while we have created the taskforce, we need to revamp the prosecution aspect. And that office is a malnourished office insofar as resources are concerned. The prosecution office needs to be completely overhauled. You need to bring in vibrant, very effective prosecutors, well-trained, with experience – I would even go as far as suggesting from overseas. Give them the resources, then they will be able to take what the taskforce is doing to another level and achieve some outcomes. But then you’d have to look at the judiciary as well, which is quite depleted of staff. There are not enough magistrates, there are not enough judges. The case turnover is very slow. These things have to be all addressed holistically.”

Call for ICAC bill to be expedited

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment


ORO Governor Garry Juffa has called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the government to fast track the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Bill to save costs of expensive Commissions of Inquiry.

“There have been so many inquiries. This is just another example of an inquiry that has cost the country substantial amount of money, in this instance K15 million.”

Governor Juffa said this during debate on a statement by PM O’Neill on the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SADLs) Commission of Inquiry interim report.

Mr Juffa, who is a trained investigator who worked for 16 years with Internal Revenue and Customs, said he had worked in a lot of investigation work.

“As an investigator I can tell you the process of investigation is not as costly as it has been in inquiries that have constantly been conducted and (their reports) tabled (in Parliament),” he said.

“I want to propose that the Bill that is put forward for the establishment of ICAC must be fast-tracked. That organisation can then coordinate such investigations, drawing from the existing resources like the Public Prosecutors Office, Police, Internal Revenue Commission, Customs and others to conduct investigations in a thorough manner,” said Mr Juffa.

Governor Juffa said this would save the people substantial amount of money and these inquiries would produce results in having people responsible brought before the courts, prosecuted and penalised accordingly.

He said from those investigations, recommendations would come out as to how to improve laws to protect the people from further exploitations.

Meanwhile, Kundiawa Gembogl MP, Tobias Kulang, stressed the need to protect the land and the environment for future generations.

“Land is our security. It is our hope for the future. When the extractive industries have exhausted the mineral, petroleum and the gas wealth on our land, what we will be left with is the land,” Mr Kulang said.

“The point is straight forward- our land is not for sale,” he said.

“Papa God lo ting ting blo em taim blo wokim graun em pinis, em nonap wokim wanpla mo graun, mi tokim yu. You can pray and fast, but Papa God nonap wokim wanpla mo graun. (God has created land and he will not create more land. You can pray and fast but God will not create any more land).

“Please do not sell your land and your children’s future,” Mr Kulang pleaded.

PNG slammed over citizenship offer to ‘fugitive’

October 25, 2012 12 comments

From Radio Australia

Members of Parliament in Papua New Guinea have criticised the government for granting citizenship to an Indonesian fugitive.

Djoko Tjandra fled to PNG before Indonesia’s Supreme Court sentenced him to two years jail for fraud over the misuse of Bank Indonesia funds.

Despite being on the run, he was granted PNG citizenship earlier this year.

Governor Gary Juffa asked the Immigration Minister, Rimbink Pato, in parliament to review the decision.

“Why are we accommodating this person? It’s an embarrassment. He should be immediately deported,” Mr Juffa said.

Ano Pala, the former immigration minister who granted Mr Tjandra citizenship, tried to have the question ruled out of order but the Speaker allowed it.

Mr Pato says the proper processes have been followed.

Mr Tjandra is alleged to have been involved in a banking scandal in Indonesia where billions of dollars were allegedly laundered or transferred to his businesses and companies.

He reportedly left Indonesia on a chartered flight from Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in Jakarta to Port Moresby on June 10 2010, just one day before the Supreme Court issued a verdict in his case.

Ex-Customs chief against rice monopoly project

January 18, 2012 4 comments

By Simon Eroro

FORMER PNG Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa is seeking legal advice from his lawyers to stop a rice project promoted by Eliana Tjandra from the Papindo Group of companies, a naturalised citizen.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, when interviewed yesterday, said any investments in the country must follow strict procedures and refused to entertain the project.

Mr Juffa said Ms Tjandra has brought in investors from Indonesia and China with the intention to secure vast tracts of land in Central Province to cultivate and sell rice for commercial purposes in the country.

The former PNG Customs boss said Ms Tjandra is currently facing charges of fraud for conspiring with Lands Department officers to illegally obtain titles to parcels of land in Port Moresby and she is out on bail.

Mr Juffa, who is a clan leader from Northern Province, has come out strongly against the project and urged leaders to seek the interests of the people rather then allow what he called “absurd projects” that demeaned and deprived people from exercising their right to conduct business in their own country.

He is adamant that his clan and others in the province would be affected by this project to the extent that they may be unable in the future to engage in the growing and selling of rice.

“Rice has slowly become a popular crop in Oro Province with substantial volumes being grown by villagers who sometimes sell their rice at markets, shops and even to the local schools and hospital,” he said.

Mr Juffa claimed that the project was hostile to the interests of his Soriane clan of more than 5000 people and indeed all Papua New Guineans who are involved in the growing of rice.

“This absurd project seeks to ban the growing and selling of rice by any entity, individual or organisation in the country. It is a project that seeks to marginalise all citizens and prevent them from benefitting from the growing and selling of rice by Papua New Guineans in their own land,” he said.

“While creating a monopoly for a foreign entity…what type of leaders would do this to their own people to demean them and diminish their opportunities whether present or future?”

Mr Juffa said the Government stop the project and stand by the interests of the people rather then facilitate the project. He said authorities must convene necessary discussions to develop policies to develop a rice industry for Papua New Guineans.

“Leaders are elected to serve, promote and protect the interests of their people, those who elected them into parliament for that purpose,” he said. “Having studied the documents and details regarding this project, I am concerned that this effort is harsh and oppressive towards our citizens becoming self sufficient in this regards – growing and selling of rice.”

Mr Juffa said our people who will be affected do not know of this sinister project.

Entrenched web of corruption has totally overwhelmed Oro Province

January 9, 2012 5 comments

Over the last 20 years, the level of corruption in the small province of Oro (Northern Province) has reached unprecedented levels. Corruption has eaten into the moral fiber of Oro society so much so that even the common thug expects some kickback or some compensation from government coffers whenever there’s the slightest opportunity available.

Earlier this month, the member for  Ijivitari, David Arore, held a gathering  in Popondetta in which he collected a large number of homemade guns in exchange for K300,000.  Local Popondetta residents know all too well the gun culture that has existed for so long in Oro. They know for a fact that homemade guns are of little value to the criminal. He can hand over the one he has and make another tomorrow. One resident said the real guns – factory made – are still in the homes of the boys who handed over the homemade guns for cash. Some residents have even revealed that  some of the weapons were made specifically for the hand over ceremony. David Arore know that. It’s his province.

It is also common knowledge in Popondetta  that when a government department  seeks to hire a vehicle  from a private company,  the usual charge is K5000. K2000 goes to the government officer who facilitated the release of funds while the company keeps K3000.

The web of corruption extends beyond the  province. Over the years, a handful of  known Oro men and women have established complex money swindling operations that similar to those operated internationally by Nigerian syndicates.

One woman who ran an organization in Port Moresby tells of how she wrote a proposal to the Planning Department for funding of a community based program which was hijacked by members of a syndicate who were based in the National Planning Department  in Port Moresby and the Oro Provincial Administration. She was asked to increase the funding request to more than a million kina  but she refused and  subsequently sacrificed  her intended community program. Had she agreed, she would have been blackmailed into paying out a cheque of more than a million kina to people who were acquainted though the project proposal process.

In the  Oro provincial administration, everyone knows of the well known ex-convict who has somehow been  elevated once again to a position of responsibility as a senior public servant after his release from jail for misappropriation in the 1990s. Why is it that an ex-con is allowed back into the system from which he stole?  It’s because everybody is involved in corruption one way or another and nobody in the administration has the guts to standup and say no.

But there appears to be some glimmer of hope. But it is emerging five years after Cyclone Guba devastated the province and five years after the accumulated theft of millions of kina allocated for the restoration of cyclone affected communities.

The move  forward is being led by the new board of the Northern Province Restoration Authority (NPRA) which was appointed  in October last year. But they’re facing stiff resistance from  current and former staff of the NPRA who want the status quo to be maintained. Members of the board are now battling an entrenched corruption culture that thrives on a weak police force, poor administration and a predominant sense of impunity from the law.

The former Customs boss, Gary Juffa, is disgusted with the corruption in his province. What he wants is simple: the arrest and successful prosecution of all those who are responsible for the theft of millions from the people of Oro.

Juffa fears politicians will hijack appointment process

November 3, 2011 3 comments

Statement from Gary Juffa, former Commissioner of the Customs Service

On the 27th October 2011, I resigned from the public service as Commissioner of the Papua New Guinea Customs Services. I did so to contest the upcoming 2012 elections and see what could be done for my people in Oro Province. As is the norm, I have selected 4 possible candidates for the position of Commissioner Customs from the Customs Executive Management. The persons have the necessary qualifications and have come to be selected because of their experience, technical knowledge, high moral and ethical values and sense of national duty to our economy and our people.

I am now advised that there is an effort to hijack the process and appoint unsuitable persons, candidates who have lobbied with certain members of Parliament and are offering favors to individuals and companies when they assume the seat if successful. Whilst many leaders will support my recommendations, there are a few who will not, as it would not suit their individual interests and that of their associates.

I am saddened to see that an organization that I had worked so hard to develop specifically to protect PNG interests in so far as border security and community protection, transnational crime and due revenues, could be compromised for selfish and ulterior motives.

I separated Customs from the IRC because it was the right thing to do. It was needed to allow Customs to focus on the aspect of Community Protection and Border Security that had lacked ever since the creation of the IRC in 1995. The IRC was created to facilitate foreign trade and foreign interest. IT DID NOT SERVE THE INTERESTS OF PNG OR ITS PEOPLE and still doesn’t. The people of Papua New Guinea deserve protection from transnational crimes, from undue foreign exploitation from entities associated to transnational criminal syndicates.

For once, Customs was able to actually fund surveillance and patrols without having to rely solely on Australia and the results were increased interceptions of high value smuggled goods and consequent seizure and prosecution of offenders.

As an independent country, PNG needs to develop its own vibrant border security mechanisms to protect its people and economy. PNGCS has struggled with only 60% of its approved structure and with only 40% of its requested budget. Yet its achievements have been quite notable. This is because of the belief the officers in the leadership of PNG Customs Services, a disciplined and vibrant organization.

The PNG Customs Services has strived hard in the last two years since its separation to protect PNG interests. Revenue collections, detentions and seizures of smuggled goods, arrests and deportations of illegal foreigners, joint agency operations to curb transnational criminal activities, dismantling of illegal gaming syndicates and improved border security are at record highs. I have struggled with meager resources to develop a corporate approach towards service delivery to all stakeholders, especially the people of our beloved country. There is still much to be done. But we are well on our way.

While I am confident that the NEC will stand by my recommendations, there is that possibility that this process will be hijacked yet again as has been the case in the past…the position of Commissioner of Customs is national security sensitive especially during the election is the crucial decision making point that determines what gets scrutinized as it enters or leaves the country…I am creating as much awareness as I can so as to muster the support of our people to ensure that the candidates selected through a proper process of evaluation to ensure fit and proper persons, are considered..the people of Papua New Guinea deserve a functioning Customs Department that protects their interests and guards against the threat of transnational crime….

God Bless Papua New Guinea..


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