Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Top PNG lawyer Paul Paraka arrested over $28m

Top PNG lawyer Paul Paraka arrested over $28m

October 25, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Source: ROWAN CALLICK in THE AUSTRALIAN

PAUL Paraka, the richest, most powerful lawyer in Papua New Guinea, has been arrested in a dawn raid at a village near the capital Port Moresby over $28.7 million his firm is alleged to have received from the government’s Finance Department.

The principal of the country’s largest law firm, which has 22 branches, has been charged with 18 counts, including conspiracy to defraud, stealing by false pretence, money laundering and misappropriation.

The firm earlier filed a motion seeking a series of interlocutory injunctions to stop the government’s anti-corruption Taskforce Sweep from investigating it, and to stop police executing an arrest warrant on Mr Paraka.

The lawyer claimed, among other matters, that Taskforce Sweep was operating in an unconstitutional manner. The National Court initially granted a temporary restraining order over the warrant, but eventually rejected Mr Paraka’s application, and the Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Salamo Injia presiding, last Friday turned down the ensuing appeal.

Mr Paraka told reporters outside police fraud squad headquarters on Wednesday that he was innocent, would continue to fight all charges through the courts, and was simply being paid for government work.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this week the government would not stand in the way of Taskforce Sweep, which targets administrative corruption.

An 811-page inquiry conducted for parliament three years ago by PNG judges Cathy Davani and Maurice Sheehan, originally from New Zealand, and prominent business leader Don Manoa, revealed a $300m scam perpetrated by top officials and leading lawyers.

But the report was injuncted at a court hearing in remote Alotau through the law firm of Mr Paraka, who is named throughout the document. Neither the parliament nor the two governments since then have pressed for its removal.

The report, as revealed exclusively in The Australian, lists a large number of bogus compensation claims made by and settled within the senior bureaucracy, with the involvement of private lawyers.

The Paraka scams – K780 million stolen from the people

Mr O’Neill said in May he had issued a directive that the government should “act swiftly” to pursue “massive payments in millions of kina made to law firms, companies and individuals for legal fees and out-of-court settlements” by the Department of Finance. “If I have to sack everyone including the tea boy at Finance, I will do so to clear the place up,” he said.

Attorney-General Kerenga Kua told a seminar last month lawyers were using their skills and education to rip off PNG.

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  1. Kanex Kanarepa
    October 25, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Did PP Law firm PPL grew the biggest and richest out of the poor peoples stolen wealth??? GOD SAVE PNG AND ITS POOR PEOPLE. LORD!!! LET YOUR MIGHT WROUGHT POUR UPON THIS EVIL SCUMBERGS!!! Courts of the land should not have mercy on this type of people committng henours crimes against poor suffering people of this wonderful country.

  2. Bush Kanaka Mangi
    October 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

    What about Jimmy Maladina and the Prime Minister in the NPF Saga and the recent Public Servants Housing Scheme ….will that be investigated or brushed aside ????

    • Bradley
      October 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Brushed aside.

      • kadai
        November 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

        WHAT THE —*#@+**%$@—–DO YOU MEAN BRUSHED ASIDE?

  3. Kanex Kanarepa
    October 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Of course we can count and count and forever number ino sort tu!!! Mi laik dae. When do I stand to see at least one Mr. Clean in and for this country??? Maybe my great, great grannys might see one or never know!!

  4. George (*observer)
    November 3, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Here is the scam: (1) You try to get your court case delayed as long as possible. (2) During the delay you work on the judge, the government lawyers, and the police trying to bribe them. (3) On court day one of the following 3 things happens: the incriminating evidence suddenly can’t be found, the prosecuting lawyers for some reason don’t show up thus leading to a default judgment, or the judge, who makes the sole final decision, gives some crazy reason to back up their decision of “not guilty”. It works every time, all that is needed is a bribe and Paul Paraka has big bucks to bribe with. The reason why the corrupt always win in PNG is because they’re generally smarter than the decent people of this country and way ahead in knowing how to exploit the rules of the game. The decent people are still at Square 1, wringing their hands and shaking their heads in dismay and that’s why evil always wins in PNG.

  1. April 17, 2015 at 6:36 am
  2. May 1, 2015 at 8:33 am

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