Terror at Paga Hill Continues: Pre-School and Church levelled by Police
In July Port Moresby’s Paga Hill community won a long legal struggle against the Paga Hill ‘Development’ Company and its Australian CEO ‘Gummi’ Fridriksson.
The Supreme Court ruled that the community resided on reclaimed land outside the state lease which PHDC acquired, allegedly through ‘corrupt dealings’.
The community was saved. Or so it seemed.
While the court case was proceeding, the reclaimed land was registered by the Department of Lands and leased for 99 years to a PHDC subsidiary, Audayap No.5 Limited.
The late Judge Mark Sevua advised the community that this was in contempt of court, a criminal offence. And like so many law abiding citizens the people of Paga have attempted to prosecute this potential breach of the law by a foreigner through the courts.
And yet it is these PNG citizens who have been subject to police violence.
Two weeks ago, the RPNGC demolished homes on the reclaimed land at Paga Hill, destroyed for good the historic Church, and burnt down the local pre-school, all to assist a foreign businessman who has been slammed in 4 Public Accounts Committee reports, 2 Auditor General Reports and 1 Commission of Inquiry.
Shining examples include:
- The Auditor General alleges that K1,966,677 was wrongfully seized from the sale of deceased PNG estates, when Fridriksson’s company CCS Anvil was advising the Public Curators Office (CCS Anvil has acted as PHDC’s ‘project director’). The Auditor General also claims K4,872,375 in ‘unlawful’ payments were made to CCS Anvil by the Public Curators Office.
- According to the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee K79,500 in unlawful payments were made by the East Sepik Provincial government to CCS Anvil
- According to the Public Accounts Committee K375,799 in unlawful payments were made by the Parliamentary Service to CCS Anvil.
- According to evidence given to the judicial inquiry into the Department of Finance, CCS Anvil was paid a K1.4 million fee for allegedly advising a plaintiff to increase their fraudulent claim against the state from K900,000 to K4.4 million, which was illicitly settled by certain state officials out of court.
Why would the police burn, and demolish homes owned by law abiding citizens, on behalf of a foreign individual who has allegedly misappropriated millions from the public purse?
These are worrying times!