Home > Corruption, Logging, Papua New Guinea > Fugitive’s citizenship queried in PNG

Fugitive’s citizenship queried in PNG

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Eoin Blackwell | AAP

Papua New Guinea’s opposition is demanding answers on why an Indonesian fugitive wanted by Interpol was granted citizenship in June.

Djoko Tjandra has been on the run from Indonesian authorities since 2009 after allegedly embezzling millions in bailout funds from the now defunct Bank of Bali.

Tjandra reportedly fled Indonesia a day before the nation’s supreme court sentenced the now 62 year old in absentia to two years jail.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament on Friday he had been advised by the secretary to the Attorney General there were irregularities in the granting of citizenship to Mr Tjandra.

“I know there is a lot of speculation in the press that this guy is a fugitive and needs to be repatriated, (but) I have not received one single request from the Indonesian government,” Mr O’Neill told parliament on Friday.

“I am advised … there are some irregularities in respect to the issuing of citizenship.

“Once we have a detailed report from that investigation we will be in some position to make decisions.”

Mr O’Neill said he would raise the issue with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a scheduled meeting in late November.

Opposition Leader Belden Namah urged the government to come clean on why Tjandra was granted citizenship in the first place.

“They have to declare why they are defensive of this particular person who is a fugitive to our nearest neighbour, whom we have a very good diplomatic and bilateral relationship with,” he said.

“What has happened to Djoko Tjandra’s Indonesian passport when we issued him the citizenship of this country? What criteria was used in awarding Mr Tjandra the citizenship of Papua New Guinea?”

According to PNG’s Department of Immigration website, a person can only apply for citizenship if they have lived “continuously in the country for at least eight years.”

An applicant must also make a full statement of assets, liabilities, investments, business interests and savings accounts both within and outside PNG indicating their values and locations.

Former foreign minister Ano Pala, who is reported in the local press to have overseen Mr Tjandra’s citizenship application, said the Interpol fugitive was being defamed.

“Raising serious allegations is beyond the dignity and decorum of this parliament,” he said.

“The person is a citizen and enjoys the same privileges that you should enjoy and every person in PNG should enjoy.”

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  1. Djoko Tjandra
    October 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Why would it be up to Ano Pala to make such an ascertive decision that Tjandra was being defamed by being on the Interpol Wanted list. He is not in a position to do this and is showing just how stupid he is by saying these types of ridiculous comments. They are all in bed together. The amount of times I am fully aware of; but unfortunately have no hard evidence of; Ano Pala taking kickbacks from the “Projects for his people”. This guy is as big a criminal as Tjandra, but deals cash in dark alleyways thinking no one will find out what’s happening. Perhaps Pala is indeed being defamed now. Does this mean it didn’t happen then??

  2. Alu Pewaila
    February 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    The Rt Hon Ano Pala must seriously be short and inadequate in all his faculties. How can a senior MP of any country in the world today not be aware of an international fugitive status before granting him citizenship and an extra passport under an alias? That amounts to nothing short of treason.

    • Kang Jon
      April 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Ano Pala and all his other cronies in government are selling our country and its not even funny! Ano Pala should face the full brunt of the PNG judicial system. What has happened in PNG since the last elections is absolutely ridiculous. From selling PNG citizenships to mutilating and burning people alive to raping women to the typical non delivery of just the basic of services has brought this country to its knees. And to think all this has happened in less than a year is difficult to comprehend.

      Is this the direction this country is headed? If so I worry for my motherland.

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