Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Australian doors wide open for money stolen in PNG

Australian doors wide open for money stolen in PNG

A new Transparency International report says Australia is wide open for corrupt elites from overseas, including Papua New Guinea, to launder the proceeds of grand corruption through the Australian real estate market.

“There is clear evidence that such investment in Australian property is an easy and convenient way to hide hundreds of millions of dollars from criminal investigators, tax authorities or others tracking criminal behaviour and the proceeds of crime”.

The report, Doors Wide Open Corruption and Real Estate in Four Key Markets, says Australia has severe deficiencies under all 10 areas identified in the research and is therefore not in line with any of the commitments to tackle corruption and money laundering in real estate made in international forums.

TI says in Australia, real estate agents are not subject to the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter- Terrorism Financing Act 2006. Other professionals such as lawyers and accountants who may also play a role in the sector are not covered either. This means that properties can be bought and sold without any due diligence on the parties.

“Currently there are no requirements for real estate agents or any professional involved in real estate deals to submit Suspicious Transaction Report, even if they suspect illegal activity is taking place, and there are no requirements or rules for verifying whether customers are Politically Exposed Persons or their close associates”.

  1. Mark Davis
    March 31, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Australian governments of both persuasions have known for years about PNG money-laundering, especially through real estate transactions, but also through bank transactions, and has made a conscious decision not to take action Reasons: prominent PNG politicians with whom Australia regularly deals, Manus, Australia-PNG policy vacuum, indecision, extremely weak oversight … you name it.

  2. April 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    The Business Dialogue at the 25th Australia Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum was held in Madang, Papua New Guinea, on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

    The following representatives of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council executive committee participated: Mark Baker (Vice-President), Peter Taylor (Past President) and John Chambers.

    1. Mark Baker:
    Mark is a highly experienced international banker having previously held senior roles with HSBC in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India and Bahrain.

    Prior to taking up his current role with ANZ PNG in August 2012, Mark had overall responsibility for ANZ’s Corporate Banking activities in Queensland, covering private and public companies, with a particular focus on services to the Natural Resources sector.

    Mark brings with him a deep experience across a wide range of banking activities including Corporate and Institutional Banking, Commercial and SME, and Retail Banking, as well as key product lines including International Trade Services, Payments and Cash Management and Operations.

    2. Peter Taylor
    Mr Peter Taylor
    Managing Director
    Rio Tinto (PNG) Limited
    PO Box636
    Tel. + 61 2 9317 2055
    Fax. + 61 2 9317 2088

    On 1 July 2016, Peter Taylor has resigned from his role of Chairman of Bougainville Copper Limited following the decision by Rio Tinto to transfer its shareholding in the company to an independent trustee.

    Robert Burns has been appointed acting Chairman and a board meeting of BCL will be held on Monday, 4 July 2016.

    The board of directors are presently considering the consequences of this action and are taking appropriate advice on the affect it may have on the BCL.

    Adam Burley has also resigned from the board of directors.

    The board of BCL expressed their gratitude to Peter for his service as a director from 1997 and as a chairman from 2003. The board also thanked Adam for his service since 2013.

    3. John Chambers
    General Manager PNG at Santos

    SANTOS and Horizon Oil made the case for Papua New Guinea’s foreland blocks to be considered the next big thing in local gas exploration in their presentations at the 13th PNG Mining and Investment Conference (2015).

    “The question really is, what’s coming next in Papua New Guinea?” Santos PNG country manager John Chambers asked of the crowd assembled in the Sydney Hilton’s grand ballroom on 2 December.

    Mr Chambers said the country’s foreland area was “relatively unexplored” and pressed his belief that there was more gas to be found.

    “If you look at the Carnarvon basin there are about 800 exploration wells there,” he said, using the Australian basin as a means of comparison.

    “The Papuan basin is of a similar size but only 160 exploration wells have been drilled since the 1950s.”

    “There isn’t the same level of exploration in the Papuan basin…we think at Santos there are a lot of resources to be found in that region.”

    “Clearly there is potential in the foreland and I think there is more gas to be found.”

    Mr Chambers said Santos was continuing to work on finding “small volumes of gas across relatively small prospects”.

    He said the threshold for a standalone LNG plant was about five trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, which he had calculated as potentially requiring the company to drill 25 wells.

    “It doesn’t mean it will necessarily take that [many]. Someone might have a new play concept like InterOil did and find a new source of gas but if we’re keen to keep doing what we’re doing in the Western province.”

    “It will take a lot of wells to get to the point where we can actually get to a standalone LNG.”

    Mr Chambers said Santos was “certainly keen” on continuing to explore the foreland.

    “We’re obviously looking for new play concepts out there, new ways we could be trapping gas or alternatively the foreland gas discoveries somehow have to be integrated into one of the other projects,” he said.


  1. October 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

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