Home > Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea > Minister claims Sharp lied about demand for money

Minister claims Sharp lied about demand for money

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Jeffery Elapa

Works and Transport Minister Francis Awesa has accused shipowner Peter Sharp of lying when he claimed that a person had used the minister’s name to demand K20,000.

Last week, an unknown person claiming to be Awesa, had reportedly called Sharp, the managing director of Star Shipping which owned the mv Rabaul Queen, and demanded that he paid K20,000 or face deportation.

Sharp reported the matter to police. It was also reported that the caller sent a text message demanding the money.

Awesa said Sharp had come up with the story as an excuse to stop people commenting on the sea tragedy.

He said Sharp in the past came up with court orders to suppress the government from performing its duties to control and regulate issues on safety.

He has called on police to investigate if Sharp’s claim was genuine.

Awesa, who offered a reward of K1000 to any person who could identify the caller, insisted that the claim by Sharp was to stop the minister from talking about the sea disaster which claimed the lives of more than 100 people.

Awesa, while denying making the call, last week described the action of the caller as inhumane because the relatives of those who had died were still in mourning.

He said a person using his name or the name of any minister to demand money was totally unacceptable.

“That is the last thing anybody could do and that is a work of a mentally sick person and they should be locked up at Laloki mental hospital.”

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