Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Corruption allegations at Department of Works

Corruption allegations at Department of Works

“TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH SHALL BE REQUIRED”

By WHISTLEBLOWER via PNG News

The Department of Works and Implementation has been given a huge allocation in the 2013 and 2014 National Budgets. With the allocation and entrusting of such a huge amount of money comes great responsibility. Of all government departments and agencies, the departments of Works, Health and Education MUST receive the greatest scrutiny because they have received the greatest slice of budgetary allocations in recent years. Many times we focus on MPs and Ministers and overlook the implementers or public servants, starting with Department Secretaries.

Acting Department of Works Secretary David Wereh has been living a lavish lifestyle ever since his appointment in June/July 2012 to replace suspended former secretary Joel Luma. David Wereh who comes from Kuwi Village in the Koare LLG of the Ialibu Pangia District, Southern Highlands Province is another close associate and “wantok” of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Word from sources close to the Acting Secretary is that he often receives orders and directives directly from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, bypassing Works Minister Francis Awesa. This link to the PM will be revealed in some stunning revelations below.

Some investigations into the business dealings of Mr Wereh reveal that the Business Name “G.J.D Trucking (6-107136)” was incorporated with IPA on 24 January 2012. The business is listed as being owned by Matilda WEREH, the wife of Acting Secretary David Wereh. For a “TRUCKING COMPANY”, it is also interesting that checks done at MVIL do not show any “trucks” or even “motor vehicles” owned by this company.

The Business has a bank account with Westpac Bank, opened on 17 February 2012. What is very interesting is that even though this “trucking business” does not have any vehicles registered under its business name with MVIL, the business has been receiving substantial amounts of money from very interesting sources. While some payments appear to be regular and may be related to the business, there are other “irregular payments” that seem highly dubious and suspicious. A number of these payments can be easily linked to companies that have tendered for and won road construction or road maintenance contracts. Regular “CASH” deposits of K9,900 have been made into the account apart from other amounts.

The payment that stands out as being very interesting is linked to L&A Construction; a company which many commentators on Social Media have alleged has business links with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. A tidy sum of K111,000 was paid into the business account of G.J.D Trucking at Westpac Bank on 1st May 2012, around the time L&A Construction won the bid for the re-construction of Marea Haus (Pineapple Building). Another BSP Cheque for K200,000 from an unidentified source was deposited into the account shortly after on 4th May 2012.

There are also stories of so many contracts handed out to paper companies owned by tribesmen, clansmen, cronies, supporters and wantoks of both David Wereh and Peter O’Neill for real or imagined “road construction” and “road maintenance” works in the Ialibu Pangia district of Southern Highlands Province. Companies of cronies and close associates of the Acting Secretary like 7th Star Hire Car Ltd (1-83470) registered on 30 May 2012 have close links and business deals with the Acting Secretary. Directors of this company are a PNGan Garry KANDIPA and Australian Paolo UCCHINO.

Sources have revealed that David and Matilda Wereh have had a sudden change in their lifestyle, ever since David Wereh was appointed Acting Secretary for Works in 2012. Their children have been sent to the most expensive international schools and frequent overseas holidays to Australia are part of what has become a lifestyle which many Department Secretaries or public servants cannot afford on their public service salaries. It is not unusual for them to carry around large amounts of cash and throw lavish parties, both in Port Moresby and back in their village. Christianity has been used conveniently as a cover as they portray the image of being committed Christians who give much money to the “work of God”.

There are so many other examples of how Acting Secretary David Wereh is using his position to benefit himself and his and the Prime Minister’s cronies and supporters. With direct access to the PM, Mr Wereh is seemingly untouchable by his Minister Francis Awesa who has been relegated to the sidelines. It is no wonder road construction companies are sprouting up like mushrooms all over Southern Highlands and particularly in Ialibu and Pangia.

There was also a deposit of K150,000 on 7 March 2013 into the account of G.J.D Trucking with the narration “B/- Ela Enterprise”. It is not known whether this is a business name or a company. A check with IPA online shows that Ela Enterprise Ltd is a company owned by Indians and based in Madang. If the company is into “Road Construction/Maintenance” or similar works, then the link may be drawn that this payment was a “sweetener” for the awarding of contracts.

It is interesting to note that this account with Westpac Bank was closed on 10th February 2014 after Government Agencies such as IRC and others began asking questions. IRC are encouraged to check further on the “business activities” of G.J.D Trucking to see if all their taxes have been paid for the funds that have been deposited into that account.

The public on social media are encouraged to CONTRIBUTE any information you may know. All relevant documentation relating to this “unofficial investigation” are on hand. Together with any new information contributed on social media, a file will be put together and forwarded to the relevant authorities to investigate further and take appropriate ACTION!! For a start, Acting Secretary David Wereh MUST NOT be confirmed to this position if the government of Peter O’Neill is serious about fighting corruption!

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  1. anti corruption
    March 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I hope the task force sweep and other law enforcement agencies get onto these blatant corruption going on. More information needs to be brought to light. We are sick and tired of this thieves who help themselves before the people whom they supposed to work for..

  2. Pieter
    March 1, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Can someone please tell me what is the correct steps a lawyer must take billing his client. I was asked to pay K3000.00 for them to take my case. They ensure my we will win. After some court cases. The National Cort dismissed the case and after 11 months the Lawyers ask me for K20,000.00. I am sure they was supposed to keep me up to date with the costs as we go along. Please help me with information. Thanks p.nz@hotmail.com

  3. Halewalo
    March 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    What else can we say again. All the same story over and over again. Basically systematic or organised stealing here, stealing there again. What sort of people are we ? Are we pigs and dogs ?
    When will all this stop ?
    Well done whistle blower for all your facts. When you produce dates, amounts deposited and the Banks with the printouts then that is a fact. Compile and forward to relevent authorities to further investigate.
    We as pngeans especially in the public sector are starving our own people of services on account of faceless monkeys like this. They must be caged up in Bomana to rot there.
    Our laws on appointments such as these must be amended such that senior position vacancies must be interviewed by professional HR companies first with the best nominee given to the Govt to appoint. The PM
    should not be involved in these appointments because it will be politicised with cronies going in with other intentions. How will the chief sec or Minister concerned pull these guys in line since he is the PM’s boy? “I scratch your back and you scratch mine” becomes the norm and nobody cares anymore about the Department and the people. Works department has some highly qualified and very professional persons that can do alot of good for this country but its beaurecrats like this that suppress them because they are there for selfish gains.
    I find it laughable as to how dumb and stupid this person is to do an IPA registeration under his wife’s name with bank paper trails all over the place?

  4. kanex Kanarepa
    March 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

    You got the nail in the coffin! Please get more around the edges; I am from that area and its all rotten and have seen and heard of it. David Wereh should never be confirmed to the position and authorities should start investigating this company owned by his wife and this is not the only fly by night company; there are a number of them under dubious names operated by some guys from Pangia and the Koare LLG area. Pls getting going with that investigations because you are right there!!

  5. ToPam
    March 3, 2014 at 10:39 am

    All the same. These smart people get into responsible positions and become millionaires over night, while the poor people in the rural areas still wait for much services to be delivered. Dept of Works has been a victim to politicians and highly placed bureaucrats, who have brought DOW to rubbles. Just look around PNG to all their facilities, almost most of them are non-functional and their employees are enjoying being paid every fortnight without doing anything constructive for this nation. I cannot blame them.

    The DOW road and engineering section is literally death – RIP. This is the work of previous Works Ministers and successive governments, who have their own interests by way of starting their own construction companies and award lucrative contracts to their own companies, and they forget about DOW, a state owned department that has been charged under an Act of Parliament to build, construct and maintain all road infrastructures in the country, at a minimal costs. This is not the case now. What are shame.

    DOW also has a building and maintenance section, for building, maintenance and renovation to houses for government institutions. This section is also RIP, that is why most of the institutional houses around PNG, especially in the rural area have succumb to termites, rot and looting. What is the government’s anticipation on this key department?

    Government Ministers, successive govts and top bureaucrats have turned a blind eye on this institution and gone their ways awarding contracts to themselves and their cronies, yet the govt is still pumping millions of kinas to DOW employees, whom most of them are redundant or literally “unemployed or self-employed”.

    Mr. David Wereh, his wife and family have landed themselves a big fortune under the expense of the 7.5 Papua New Guineans. He should be ashamed of himself. Why should he go to the extent of pretending to be a committed Christian and flush all the riches that he is stealing from the people of this land. My friend do not use God’s Name to cover your dubious and corrupt actions, because they will come back to haunt you one glory day.

    We had enough of these stupid and arrogant people who have seen fit to steal what rightly belongs to you and I.

  6. Tugiri Reida
    March 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014MASSIVE CORRUPTION IN WESTERN PROVINCE. WILL THE PM INTERVENE?
    By TUGIRI REIDA

    The government of PNG has demonstrated that it is incapable of safeguarding the funds of Non CMCA villages’(South Fly affected villages who didn’t sign the CMCA Agreement) being part of the compensation moneys paid by BHP/Oktedi, as a direct result of the Court case in Melbourne by Fly River Landowners.

    Certain funds being dividends from Oktedi were parked as part of the compensation package for the Environmental destruction in two trust accounts (totalling several hundred Million Kina) under the principal care of the Governor of Western Province Hon. Ati Wobiro and the Secretary for Department of Mines and Geo-hazards, Mr. Shadrach Himata.

    Ati Wobiro, a man with double Masters in Economics, a former Provincial Planner of Western Province in the 1990s, former Acting Administrator of Department of Western, former country Manager of World Vision, former Church Elder of the Evangelical Church of Papua, former employee of PNGSDPL, and former 2 time loser for the Western Regional Seat, finally made it into the hot seat, unseating another son of the Church from Gogodala, Dr Danaya.

    Ati Wobiro was elected because we (the people) found Dr Danaya unreliable, untrustworthy, egotistical, and did not do much. Wobiro was elected instead because the people felt he was close to the ground and trustworthy.

    But, is Wobiro really close to the people, and is he truely worthy of their trust?

    Upon being elected, he sacked William Goinau the Provincial Administrator and appointed a fellow “bushman”, fellow devoutly religious, and fellow economist Dr Modowa Gumoi , to be the Provincial Administrator. No other Province in PNG has such highly qualified persons as Governor and Administrator- the Dream Team.

    But how are they perceived on the ground? What practical things have the Dream Team achieved so far?

    Some of their achievements have been aired in the media this last week by Mr William Goinau, playing the role of whistle blower. Admittedly there is an element of sour grapes in Goinau’s revelations. But his revelations are so serious, they cannot be dismissed offhandedly. So far no party named, including the Governor, has objected. Everyone has gone into hiding.

    Goinau alleged that:

    1. Wobiro & Gumoi circumvented normal tender processes and corruptly misused K36 Million Kina of the people’s moneys held in trust.
    2. There was no tender by the Western Province Supply & Tenders Board to award K36 Million worth contracts. All normal tender processes for transparency were not followed. This is against the Public Finances Management Act.
    3. K3 Million Kina was paid into KBB Oceania Ltd, owned by associates of Wobiro & Gumoi from whom they may have had a kick back.
    4. K2.6 Million to May Fuels Distributors Ltd, (May brothers) for Daru Beautification Project.

    May brothers are like family to Wobiro. They supported him during last election in kind, cash and logistics. Wobiro’s family connection with the Mays go right back to when (the brothers were toddlers then) their old man RON May as official signatory to the giant Wawi Guavi Timber project siphoned off Millions of Kina of landowner royalty and premium payments, and Wobiro as Provincial Planner and a short time as Administrator covered for him. Wobiro has since been a close family friend, and business advisor at various times to the Mays.

    Very little, in fact, nothing has been done on the ground by way of beautification of Daru town by the Mays. Instead the Mays have been busy buying up properties in Australia, Port Moresby and strengthening their strong grip over Daru township.

    5. K2.287 Million to May Fuels Distributors Ltd for Daru Sanitation & Garbage.

    Very little actual garbage or sanitation work has been done by the Mays. The council does its bit but not always effective. The Mays boast about the new properties they bought in Australia and Port Moresby, and appear in the bars of Port Moresby as the noveau riche of Western Province, while the people whose money they siphoned wallow in utter poverty.

    6. K5.5 Million Kina paid to Niugini Aviation Services Ltd for aviation services to Western Province.

    Niugini Aviation Services Ltd is owned by Mr Roxon Undi and his wife Mrs Ruth Undi, of Southern Highlands Province.

    Mr Roxon Undi and Mrs Ruth Undi met Governor Wobiro in Port Moresby in isolated hotel rooms and restaurants where the Undi’s grand plan was slowly and carefully revealed and blessed. Prior to their meeting the Governor, their company had one small plane that they leased.

    The Undis are financial backers of Governor Agiru of Hela. They benefited to the tune of Millions of Kina from Governor Agiru’s road contracts in the Southern Highlands. Even though the roads were not completed, the Undis company Kana Constructions always got paid the full tender price anyway, thanks to a very flexible former CSTB Chairman, and happy Works Department staff.

    It was Governor Agiru who urged Wobiro to meet with Mr Undi and his wife Ruth Undi, whose other company Kana Group is also a contractor to Oktedi Mine and to Southern Highlands Province during Agiru’s time. Agiru and Wobiro are also both first born sons of the Evangelical Church of Papua, and currently working together on the new Nomad gas project.

    After agreement in principal, a bold proposal was cooked up whereby K5.5 million was to be paid by Wobiro from the trust. Roxon and Ruth Undi will then look after Governor and cover the Provincial Administrator (whom the Undis met separately). As planned the Undis sent the proposal up through the Administrator. The Governor pretended ignorance, went along and approved it. The payment was made without any tendering. The papers were signed off and witnessed between the Governor and the Administrator. Everyone involved to draw the funds was looked after.

    The Undis with just one small leased aircraft at that time, proposed in writing to supply Aviation services to 53 rural Airstrips in Western Province. There is a bound submission at the Governor’s office that looks and sounds like a con job. The numbers proposed showed flying hours between these 53 airstrips. This was impossible for one small aircraft to acheive. There is also another problem- there is only less than 10 strips open currently, and of these only half are serviceable. Everybody including the Undis (being contractors in Western Province) know which airstrips are open. They knowingly made false proposal and the Governor too should have known.

    As time revealed, Roxon & Ruth Undi used the K5.5 Million to buy themselves new airplanes. They had no intention of flying to airstrips that don’t exist. It is obvious they didn’t care. They were looking for free money to benefit themselves.

    Clearly this is a “CON” job on the people by Governor Wobiro and Dr Gumoi, and by Mr Roxon Undi and Mrs Ruth Undi. It is clearly an illegal and corrupt payment because the proposal is not genuine and the money does not belong to the Governor and Dr Gumoi.

    Responsible authorities should investigate and criminally prosecute such people. The Accounts of Niugini Aviation, Roxon Undi, Ruth Undi and all their companies should be examined to see what happened to the K5.5 Million that was fraudulently and improperly obtained, and how much of it has been laundered off shore, and how much, if any, paid as kick backs.

    The Undis, have also been transferring funds to Australia and New Zealand just like the Mays. This situation is no different from what Mr Eremas Wartoto and Paul Tiensten have been accused of. Only the names are different, but everything else is the same.

    7. K2.996 MILLION PAID TO SOUTHERN CROSS ASSURANCE LIMITED AS INSURANCE PREMIUM.

    This is another company owned by Mr Roxon Undi and his wife Ruth Undi.

    It is yet another bogus proposal prepared by Mr Lohia Samuel the GM of Southern Cross Assurance Ltd, a newly set up insurance company. The proposal says that this company would provide individual life, health and other insurance cover for 65,000 people of Western Province.

    There is something wrong here because Western Province population is not 65,000. It is less than that. The people don’t know they have health or life insurance cover. Nobody has told them. No individual has seen a medical or life policy from the company. No person of Western Province has consented to be covered. No one has signed any policy. There are no procedures to claims. There are no names of the individuals covered. The money has been paid out but the people are dying every day from curable deceases.

    This bogus insurance proposal was prepared by Mr Lohia Samuel. The company has not covered anyone in truth. This is yet another fraudulent , deceptive and corrupt payout of the people’s funds.

    It is believed Mr Roxon Undi and Mrs Ruth Undi put this proposal to the Governor at the same time as they put the Aviation proposal to him. Together they have benefitted illegally to the tune of K8.5 Million Kina from the people’s trust so far. An investigation by a Police Task Force or the Fraud squad, would reveal the whole truth.

    8. K 4.0 MILLION PAID TO POSMAN KUA AISI LAWYERS.

    Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers were paid K4 million which is a lot of money!

    What big work did these guys do to deserve to be paid so much money! At a time when we are seeing and hearing so many law firms in this country being branded as corrupt and ripping the government and small people off, with the Attorney General in the forefront of the counter action, we need to hear how this money was earned by the Attorney General’s law company.

    Mr Goinau says this firm did not do any work for Western Province during his time in office. He says that this law company in fact acted for the Governor during his recent election petition.

    Mr Goinau also believes a previous payment in the Millions was also paid to this firm out of the same fund. The Governors legal fee payment, if true, would also be an illegal payment from the people’s Trust funds. The Governor’s election petition is a private matter and a private expense. It is not an expense of the Provincial Government, or that of the affected Non CMCA Villages.

    For this payment(s) the law company needs to be fully investigated, and funds recovered and those involved prosecuted, and jailed. The Police and the courts must be allowed to do their jobs properly, without interference from the Attorney General or any other Politician.

    9. PRIME MINISTER’S RESPONSIBILITY.

    Mr Kerenga Kua is the Attorney General fighting the case of the State retaining control of landowner funds. It is his law company that is implicated as possibly taken over K4 Million of the Western People’s moneys from the Trust fund for defending the Governor Wobiro’s election petition. Will he move to protect his colleagues and his name that is still on the company? Kua has a serious conflict.

    While these revelations in the press have caught the Prime Minister off-guard, what is he going to do about it?

    Will the PM move to cover up for Mr Roxon Undi and Mrs Ruth Undi, his relatives and voters of his electorate, thereby cover up obvious corruption, or will he set up a Task Force specifically to look into these allegations in the interest of the nation? PNG will now know if the PM is serious about fighting corruption or not. All eyes are on him.

    Ideally, the Western Provincial Government should be suspended, and investigations should commence into these allegations. Will the Prime Minister move to suspend Western Province?

    Again it is up to the Prime Minister to ultimately protect the small people of Western Province and their funds. A police fraud squad task force, is the ideal way to go to investigate, interview, and if necessary, prosecute:
    1. The May brothers.
    2. May Fuel Distributors Ltd
    3. Roxon Undi.
    4. Ruth Undi.
    5. Niugini Aviation Services.
    6. Southern Cross Assurance Ltd.
    7. Mr Lohia Samuel.
    8. Posman Kua Aisi Law Company.
    9. Governor Wobiro.
    10. Dr Gumoi.
    11. Shadrach Himata.
    It is the wish of Western people for the Police to investigate and prosecute them, just like Tiensten and Wartoto, and let them tell the court what they did with the funds and who else benefitted.

    The Police should ask the Australian and Zealand authorities if they could help us bring back funds sent overseas by the May brothers, Roxon Undi, Ruth Undi, Lohia Samuel, and their companies. All funds should be fully recovered and the trust funds should be repaid.

    If the PM fails to suspend Western Province and institute a task force and prosecute these people, then he will have failed the long suffering people of Western Province. What hope is there for the rest of the country if this Prime Minister cannot help the people of Western Province at this time? And what hope is there for PNG if this PM is not serious about corruption that is so obvious?

    In the meantime, the trust funds should be released to the people’s own management. They are compensation funds for environmental damage. The people have suffered long enough. They are entitled to the funds. The people’s needs in health and education must be addressed now with these funds. They must decide what they should do with these funds without government interference.

    The State cannot be trusted with the funds anymore. Kerenga Kua as Attorney General cannot fight the case pending because he is tainted by K4 Million. The State (and the Prime Minister) must let the funds go to the people who deserve and need the money most, than to drag the people through the courts. at 8:07 AM

    • hosea aigal
      September 8, 2016 at 5:50 am

      The problem with Western province is that unlike other provinces where there is at least some tangible benefits from the government on the ground, the same can not be said for this poor province.
      Every election, every promise under the sun is made by candidates and it doesn’t matter if the incumbent retains his seat or a new MP is sworn in, everything just plays out the same, over and over. Every Western MP is a thief and crook by default.
      I hope Westerners do not find my comments too harsh. You only have to visit Daru and observe the “developments” there to know what I am talking about. And no, you Westerners can not claim development in Kiunga and Tabubil. These are Ok Tedi Ltd developed townships – the government had little input into their development. A classic example is the “dead” North Fly District Health Office (govt body). It is so incapable of managing the health services in the district that Ok Tedi Ltd is supplementing it’s role through its North Fly Health Services Development Program. The district health office has become just a rubber stamp body.

  7. Arthur
    March 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Peter Yama used to steal heaps of money out of works when he was Works Minister years ago.

    • Karanas
      March 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Iam ashamed of Roxon and Ruth Undi both hardly qualified overnight millionaires flashing money around and living in Australia as if they it is their hard earned cash. They Must be Prosecuted by the full force and sent to jail. Please publish these facts in main newspapers it is such a shame they have no coffee garden no genuine business to earn them millionaires stop flashing around what is not your hard earned cash but stolen how can you live with yourself? Oh and Roxon calls himself Managing Director on LinkedIn that is not for thieves it is for professionally qualified people with credibility remove yourself from that Professional Site as well. Finally please prosecute these thieves. Ruth Undi failed in Grade 10 housewife for many years and millionaire overnight. How do you live with yourselves on borrowed money and borrowed lives?

  8. Ria Mapi Koare
    March 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Oh,very interesting to know unofficial corruption report from that whistleblower..I wish if the whistleblower is a Christian,then I will know the truth and your truths will set me free from my unanswered millions of questions.I still confuse your unofficial report because the whistleblower himself must be a politically motivated gentleman.

  9. Josh
    August 3, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Hi All did you know David Wereh is in bed with a company from Israel called Anyway Enviro Solution?
    The company supplies soil stablizing materials and the contracors are forced to use it as it goes into contracts before they signed it.
    The material is just a mixture of lime and cement valused at 20 kina per bag. But they are selling it for about about one million kina per ton
    The material is widly used in dey conditions and sandy areas and its never been tested for PNG environment
    Apparently Daviid Wereh is a silent partner in the company getting kick major backs
    David Shetendle the director of Anyway was paid upfront miney from the works department to buy equipment for soil testing when he claimed he can do a better job than us locals.
    Apparently they now are awarded contracts or will soon e awarded contracts to build roads. They have never done a road as they are just suppliyers of a fake materaial
    David Wereh is pushing hard to get them in the system as a contractorand to win jobs
    This is hapeninig while millions are owed to local contractors for month and the works department claimes they have no money to pay them but they can pay for fake the material
    Wild Cat is also involved the company owned by Peter O’Neil pays huge money for the supply of the fake cement bags it seems to be a good way of making money but how com Minister Awasa is saying nothing?

  10. hosea aigal
    September 8, 2016 at 5:26 am

    The problem with us is that we Papua New Guineans are ridiculously ignorant and we have a “no care” attitude.
    Millions are stolen every year in Waigani from our hard earned taxes and yet we just keep going along as if everything was fine.
    In some countries, endless public protests and civil war would have raged by now because of high level corruption by politicians and their cronies. In China, you get prison time or worse when convicted of corruption.
    Makes you wonder where our priorities lie as a nation. Are we gonna have a complete change in attitude and direction or are we just gonna keep on the same road until we all fall off the edge together?!
    …maybe we can continue on from where the university students left off??

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