Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Paul Paraka steals another K30 million and then silences the investigation

Paul Paraka steals another K30 million and then silences the investigation

Paul Paraka, the lawyer at the centre of the K780 million Finance Department fraud*, has recently been paid another K30 million in suspicious circumstances.

By Sam Basil

Paul Paraka Lawyers have gone at great length to suppress the tabling of the Finance Commission of Inquiry by obtaining a Court Order in Alotau on a Saturday, which is now collecting dust in the National and Supreme Court registry. The Finance Inquiry looked into funds paid out in Court Judgements when Paul Paraka Lawyers was briefed out by the State on a retainer basis to act for the State in legal suits.

In late 2006, when Mr Bire Kimisopa was appointed as the Justice Minister, Paul Paraka Lawyers contract was terminated. Mr Paraka took the State to Court for some outstanding bills which were quantified by the Court as around K6million plus. That amount was not paid out as the State appealed the Orders of the National Court and there are some restraining orders issued by the Supreme Court which are understood to be still current.

Notwithstanding, on 17th February 2012, a Second batch of payments under the Court Judgments was paid totalling K45,585,468.73.

Among the payments made by finance department on 17 February, a staggering amount of K30million was paid to Paul Paraka through his various web of law firms:

  • Paul Othas Lawyers K6,000,000
  • Harvey Nii Lawyers K6,000,000
  • Sino & Company K6,000,000
  • Jack Kilipi Lawyers K6,000,000
  • PKP Nominees Ltd K6,000,000

On 20th February 2012, a letter jointly signed by Messers Melton Bogege (Financial Controller) and Yeme Kaivila (Senior Accountant) of Department of Finance was sent to Bank of South Pacific Limited stating that the payments made to the recipients enumerated above were based on the instructions of Paul Paraka Lawyers whom they claim has valid Court Orders and outstanding bills. The two officers further justified in the following terms:

“The payments were based on a valid Court Order and appropriate audit process was carried out and clearance from the Solicitor General. The Department of Finance had no right to question such authority, and facilitated the payment on the endorsement and approval of the Secretary for Finance”.

We understand there are some Supreme Court Orders in place restraining the payments to be made to Paul Paraka Lawyers.

It appears that BSP did not want to release the funds and Mr Paraka went to great lengths with numerous letters justifying the payments and even issued veil threats to BSP staff if they refuse.

Eventually, BSP appears to have released the payments as apportioned by Paul Paraka Lawyers.

A valid complaint was made by the Solicitor General’s Office to the National Fraud Squad and Task-Force Sweep to investigate this matter. When investigations commenced and a search warrant was obtained to search and obtain documents at BSP, PPL went to the District Court and filed an application to set aside the search warrant and conceal the whole thing.

We have obtained documents from the District Court Registry at Waigani which confirms that Mr Paul Paraka has filed an application to set aside the search warrants and further for a permanent restraining order to restrain any investigations into those allegations. In his affidavit in support of the application, he admits receiving those funds but for work undertaken in the past. He deposes in his affidavit that there is no stay order and relies on a number of Court orders which were superseded by a latter Supreme Court Order staying the orders and the entire proceedings of OS 876 of 2006.

Numerous visits and attempts have been made to the respective authorities who are investigating this matter to drop this case. The case officers were threatened and even intimidated. There were a number of threats on the Chairman of Task-Force Sweep, Mr Sam Koim.

Now, the intelligence information we are picking up is that these people are colluding with some police officers to fabricate and frame up some criminal charges against Mr Sam Koim to tarnish his name and further intimidate him because of his refusal to back-off when initially approached. This is dangerous and we take it very seriously. We call on the Police Commissioner whether he is aware of this and if so, can he deal with those officers who allow themselves to be manipulated by people with malicious intentions.

If Paul Paraka Lawyers was paid on a legitimate Court Order based on some purported outstanding legal fees owed by the State, why not seeking a recent legal clearance from the Solicitor General instead of going straight to finance department because Finance Department is not the authority that does the legal clearance on Court Judgements, legal bills and interests?

If the payment was legitimate, why using different law firms instead of Paul Paraka Lawyers? It makes the transactions very suspicious. These Law Firms have colluded to launder money to the benefit of Paul Paraka Lawyers. The legal firms who received the payments on behalf of Paul Paraka were not entitled to the payment yet allowed themselves as conduits to syphon public funds. This is money laundering.

If the payment is legitimate and Mr Paraka has nothing to hide, why not allowing legitimate authorities to investigate and establish the authenticity of such payments and ensure that a fraud has not been committed? Why is he filing applications to set aside search warrants which is very preliminary stage of the investigations, issuing threats and visiting the officers investigating him. He has received public funds and that is subject to public scrutiny. What has he got to hide?

The O’Neill/Namah Government had been very hard on fighting corruption and we cannot be hypocrites preaching one thing and doing the opposite. This is a very recent payment made a month ago and I strongly urge the Task-Force Sweep to get to the bottom of this. I am prepared to face it if I am implicated. The Prime Minister has also given his word on this when he announced the establishment of Task-Force Sweep.

We call on the PNG Law Society to investigate the law firms involved and immediately take some actions on this matter.

We are also calling on the Solicitor General or the Registrar of the National and Supreme Court to institute contempt proceedings against those people who orchestrated the payment in full knowledge of the existing Supreme Court Orders.

We as a Government will support Task-Force Sweep all the way. The Country is too big for any one individual person, whether in Government or opposition or any citizen of this country.

The Paraka Scams – K780m stolen from the people of PNG 

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  1. April 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    This crooked lawyer has been blatantly stealing from the people’s purse… Someone please investigate him thoroughly, lock him in jail for 25 yrs, and recoup all the money that has been stolen.. All his crooked associates need to be also arrested and locked up together with kapris at bomana and throw the keys away!! They are far worse criminals then kapris by comparison!!! They are part of the reason why there is not enough money for goods and services to get to the village people!

  2. Kaiks tuki
    April 16, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Just like his law Firm, they do substandard stuff..I witness this myself in their KOKOPO branch. Their Lawyers talk highly of themselves but are full of shits!..always try to disqualify cases on technical ngrounds..never win any good case on real trials..pieces of shits!!Steal em blo ol yah..live fancy em ol..dring planti beer em blo ol…PNG wake up!!

  3. Baiso-Kiks mero
    April 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    There is too much going on here in our country. We must toughen the law and now that the case is fresh, lets get to the bottom of it very quickly and punish whoever is guilty. Deregister their firm and if allowed, they must be scrutinised very well. If there is evidence of fraud, action must be immediately taken to recoup money lost. Its not fair on some of us who contribute K500+ in tax per day, and yet we are supporting our families who in rural PNG with our sweat and blood when somebody can get off the hook easily. I condone such motives and am adamant action should be taken. Come on Papua New Guineans, lets support the government and stand against citizens and foreigners who are reaping our nation without our knowledge. BAISO.

  4. JBoine
    April 17, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Kaikai mit na givim bun tete….tumoro yu kaikai bun for the rest of your life?

  5. sharon
    April 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

    No wander there families live so wealthy overseas and in PNG from stolen money.!!
    its not only him but the other lawyers too. shame on them, they think money will buy everything.

  6. Yaka Waniya
    April 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Fellow wantoks, he has been paid for a job well done. Saving the state, millions of kina. This K30 million is nothing compared to what he has saved. Come on fellow PNGians, point fingers at you MPs and Ministers for fund missuse and missappropriation… He is paid on a give and take basis… He has given too much to the state that state paid him as token of appreciation and services he’s provided to save millions of kina from falls claims…

    • Eagle Eyes
      April 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Well if PP is being paid for a job well done and considers himself innocent, then why did he action the following;

      1.When investigations commenced and a search warrant was obtained to search and obtain documents at BSP, PPL went to the District Court and filed an application to set aside the search warrant and conceal the whole thing

      2.We have obtained documents from the District Court Registry at Waigani which confirms that Mr Paul Paraka has filed an application to set aside the search warrants and further for a permanent restraining order to restrain any investigations into those allegations

      3.Numerous visits and attempts have been made to the respective authorities who are investigating this matter to drop this case. The case officers were threatened and even intimidated. There were a number of threats on the Chairman of Task-Force Sweep, Mr Sam Koim.

      4.If Paul Paraka Lawyers was paid on a legitimate Court Order based on some purported outstanding legal fees owed by the State, why not seeking a recent legal clearance from the Solicitor General instead of going straight to finance department because Finance Department is not the authority that does the legal clearance on Court Judgements, legal bills and interests?

      5.If the payment was legitimate, why using different law firms instead of Paul Paraka Lawyers? It makes the transactions very suspicious. These Law Firms have colluded to launder money to the benefit of Paul Paraka Lawyers. The legal firms who received the payments on behalf of Paul Paraka were not entitled to the payment yet allowed themselves as conduits to syphon public funds. This is money laundering

      6.If the payment is legitimate and Mr Paraka has nothing to hide, why not allowing legitimate authorities to investigate and establish the authenticity of such payments and ensure that a fraud has not been committed? Why is he filing applications to set aside search warrants which is very preliminary stage of the investigations, issuing threats and visiting the officers investigating him. He has received public funds and that is subject to public scrutiny. What has he got to hide?

      These actions clearly portray the signs of the desperate man willing to do anything to evade police investigations and prosecution. Yet someone sees it all fit to simply conclude by saying he was paid for a job well done! What a joke?

  7. Rex Duma
    April 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Task Force Sweep should thorughly investigate this allegation and if all is correct, simply lock this criminal (lawyer) in jail including all his cohorts and forfeit all his company assets to the state becasue all these time they’ve been mastering crocked deals to make money from the state…….Over to Sam Kiom and Task Force Sweep!

  8. Disgusted Wanaik
    April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Yaka Waniya, what has he saved the state from????….Goodness he’s reaping much more than he or his law firm has ever defended and if you noticed or not paraka lawyers claim to do probono legal work similar to public prosectutors job. The State is loosing more to PP than to anybody else in the history of PNG. This is broad daylight roberry under the disguise of legal fees, The Solicitor Generals department was and still is better at defending the State and what do they get for that ??? Nothing other than their meager salaries. This is white color crime at its BEST. The man along with all other so called lawyers engaging in such highlevel fraud against the State should be sent to Bomana. SAM KOIM and sweep team plis lock them up and yes Sam Basil PNG is too big for just one greedy man.

  9. down yana
    April 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Do we have any good people in PNG who can nail this scum of the earth. He got his law degree to steal.
    Bloody thief!

  10. Sigi
    April 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Bire Kimisopa was man enough to stop all the payments when he was the Justice Minister. Can the current ministers (esp. justice and finance/treasury) do that??

    • May 1, 2012 at 6:43 am

      BIRE KIMOSOPA will never be a member again he played with the wrong people i wont vote for him

  11. KG Mangi Apo
    May 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Too much has been said about this lawfirm, be man enough and come out public. Otherwise all of you are waisting your time as payments are in order and there is no sinister about this.

  12. Wando Yangopalamini
    May 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Mr. Paraka has a big operation and providing employment to most young PNGeans. That money is not wasted and this money is entitled for him for his work done for the state. He is looking after the well fare of his employees and done so much for the state. The state should brief out cases again to PP has he has the manpower and logistic.

  13. OK Mangi
    May 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Yaka Waniya you are absolutely not incorrect by posting your comment. Others should stop wasting their time on this and look at other people who really steal state funds through their bogus claims. PP has done alot for the state and whatever given to him was for his legal fees and nothing sinister about this.

  14. May 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Paraka Lawyers defended the state in the last 7 or 8 years because the Solicitor General’s Office did not have at that time the manpower, logistics, resources and expertise. The now famous section 5 notice that state lawyers rely on every time has its origin from Paraka Lawyers even though the law was always there since 1996. It is undisputed that Paraka Lawyers is the biggest law firm in PNG with over 100 lawyers. Think about the cost of running such an operation and besides it is a true Papua New Guinean firm with 100% nationals employed. For those who lack understanding in terms of business operations, compare a Tuckershop based in Gerehu (POM) with a Supermarket like TST based all over the country. The Tuckershop probably makes atleast K500 on a busy Friday and TST makes more than K1million obviously because its based all over the country. Imagine that. Get the picture! Stop complaining on things you don’t understand and move on in life to progress yourself. Vote new MPs in this election and throw out all the current 109 MPs and you will see progress in this country. Again for clarity, investigations are thoroughly done before search warrants are obtained and not based on gossips, lies, envy, lip service, innuendos, political scores, conjectures etc.. Just going after somebody because they have been paid a huge sum from public funds doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Investigations must be thoroughly carried out to justify an action and consequences are that the news will hit the media spot light – imagine the damage. Think, annalyse and look at the broader picture carefully before making judgments and don’t be an unproductive critic because you will be one for the rest of your life.

    • Eagle Eyes
      May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Tingting Gud,

      You present a very challenging and convincing rebuttalt to most who have criticised PPL on the K780 milliion Finance Dept fraud.

      I do agree with you on certain issues surrounding PPL’s innocence on in this suspected fraud but dont you think these remarks are yet to be sunstantiated when the inquiry is still pending with strong likelihood that PPL can be prosecuted. Besides i am still in the dark as to why these allegations have already surfaced and are already making headlines nationwide when you endeavour to argue the legitimacy of PPL’s contract payment from the state. I certainly dont think, rumours, lip services and gossips etc would take this allegations this far. This allegations may after all have some basis becuase after all PNGuineans are not that stupid to make unfound allegations on a nationally owned and best operating legal firm.

      Defending serious such allegations against the state is very serious and can only draw one conclusion and that is, defendant being classified as an accessory to the enitre alleged fraud.

  15. chris jaminan
    May 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Who has the will to lay appropriate criminal chrages on all involved in the Finance Inquiry? This is a complete joke! Madness! Please publish the audit results justifying this payment to Paraka Lawyers! Its plainly ridiculous!

  16. Mark Rondoke
    May 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

    PPL should be investigated cause the circustances are suspecious, what is the sweep team doing right now. Its funny how you steal a motor vehicle and the next thing you know your either wounded or dead whist people who steal mllions are living a luxureous life…..

  17. Constan
    May 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

    This global community that we live in has alot of opportunities and stop sitting there and cry over the spill milk. You can be 10 times better then Mr. Paraka if you try hard enough.

  18. Kirk Rilas
    June 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Why is Finance continuing to fund Paul Paraka’s operations in millions of kina that are one hundred times Public Solicitor’s budget when such money can be spent giving huge face-lift to legitimate government institution established by the Constitution doing the job it has been doing since Independence? Why are corrupt people in Finance Department sustaining Paraka’s operations to the detriment of Public Solicitor?

    Why did Paul Paraka go to Alotau on judge-shopping to obtain the order he secured from this aprticular judge when, if done above board, such application sholuld have been pursued before the Courts in Waigani before any judge throigh the Registrar? There is no such thing as ‘judge-shopping’ in our jurisdiction? Has anyone considered investigating the judge whol gave the order to Paraka in Alotau on a Friday afternoon? This is where Koim’s investigations must be directed. You must hit the right source and the supply will end. Kirk

  19. Kopu Sune
    June 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I totally agree with Freedom to investigate Paul Paraka and his law firm, if found guilty lock him up for life and throw the key away.

    How can one learned citizen of this country involve in this extremely corrupt practice of defrauding the state thru his dubious and crooked deals? The most interesting to me is how several state departments particularlyFinance

  20. baiyer manji yanda
    June 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Let the sweep team do the invetsigation, if found guilty, lock him up!
    Whatever he/ his firm is doing, I,ve seen some good things to the people of PNG in his area. What should have been done by the Police and the government is being done by Paul Paraka. Establishing Peace Ceremonies and paying compo to the diseased in the tribal fights and bring warring tribes together. PP has done great to this country as I,v seen for the past 3 yrs…I comend him for this….Keep up the good work. Baiyer Manji Yanda.

  21. Penguin
    July 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Kaiks Tuki,

    Maski long jealous if you guys (lawyers) are good enough to post fancy comments here, why dont you challenge the Paraka guys in court, thats where the real arena is instead of making low comments about them taking advantage of technical grounds.

    Meat ol kaikai na u bai kaikai bun long life inap yu dai yia!

  22. Jaq-Bay
    July 16, 2012 at 9:12 am

    To my observation of their branch here in Kokopo, I think em orait tasol. Even I paid more a big money but it worth it, they extremely do a better job then any other law firm. Why should we support Foreign law firms or firms who are not capable of managing their firms? They spend most their official hours and after hours on research and they always come up with satisfied results. For myself they represent me in 3 Civil cases and now the 4th but my head is high in the sky for another massive damage against my oppenants the so called Plaintiffs who do not do their research about law. Raun raun bihain kam insait lo Court House, em wonem haus boi blo yu, nogat ya em blo ol White man ia. Faol faol pata ….. Action Takodo….”Ke Pe Yet”. Thumbs Up for Paraka Lawyers.

    • Hens
      November 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      If the principal has a case to answer to, do the investigations and let him answer.

      If you know nothing about the work that is carried out by the firm and its employed lawyers, i suggest you go to the court house and do your research instead of bickering and branding them all as liers, criminals and ….

      There has been a rapid decrease in the back logging of criminal cases nation wide due to the accused being represented by the firm as most cases get dismissed at the district court level.

      They also provide the best defence options and have displayed satisfying results for clients despite the limited resources.

      Samting blo Paul Paraka, the Courts & the those investigating. Leave his employees out of it.

  23. Mangi Lo Ples
    September 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    The truth will always speak for the times to come. Mate, challange it in court if you are 100% sure your claims are justified and don’t run away from it. It is an advantage to you to clear current critics. Wish you all the best.

  24. Melton Ipi
    September 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    PP Lawyer is a business entity who have its own expenses to gain profits. Therefore, people should think twice before making criticisms. If you are accusing PP for the enormous profits, then you don’t know how to do business and you are jealous of PP. You better check who’s the real culprit in paying these immense sum of money. Always be mindful that a business need money to operate, likewise PP…Meltz yet

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