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Posts Tagged ‘Peter O’Neill’

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 770 days and counting…

August 3, 2015 Leave a comment

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

SABL_billboard

The National Provident Fund Commission of Inquiry

August 3, 2015 2 comments

It is 13 years since the National Provident Fund Commission of Inquiry reported its findings on the fraud and mismanagement in our national superannuation provider through the late 1990s.

This means there is now a whole generation of young people  who know almost nothing about the corruption that defrauded over 50,000 ordinary people of their savings and which involved many of our current leaders and public figures, including the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

To try and close this important gap in our collective memory and to remind us all of the Commission Findings and the lack of subsequent action against many of those implicated in the corrupt loans and fraudulent building projects, PNGExposed is embarking on a major exercise to republish the Commission findings.

The full report of the Commission of Inquiry has never been publicly released, but over the next few months we will republish the serialization of the Report findings that first appeared in the Post Courier newspaper in 2002.

We begin though with a short summary of the history of the National Provident Fund and the Commission’s main findings (adapted from Wikapedia).

Tomorrow we will publish the Statement made by the Prime Minister Michael Somare when he tabled the Commission of Inquiry Report in Parliament. On Wednesday we will begin the republication of the Post Courier’s serialization of the Commission findings.

History

The National Provident Fund (NPF) of Papua New Guinea was established in 1980.

In the late 1990s there was concern about NPF’s financial liabilities and several allegations of fraud and mis-management.

Between 1996 and 1997, the NPF had increased its debt by approving illegal loans from both domestic and foreign commercial banks as well as engaging in two fraudulent projects; the attempted purchase of the Waigani land and the construction of the NPF tower, which further contributed to its losses.

As a result, in early 2000, NPF fund managers announced a write down of 50 percent in all member contributions made before December 1999, equal to almost K114 million. But a special audit report revealed that the total losses were actually in excess of K155 million.

As a result of these findings the government established a Commission of Inquiry in April 2000 to examine the financial dealings and the allegations of fraud.

The Commission was chaired by former Judge, Tos Barnett, who had previously chaired the inquiry into the logging industry. Barnett was assisted by commissioners Donald Manoa and Lady Wilhemina Siaguru.

The Commission reported its findings in November 2002, but.to date that report has never been made publicly available

The Fund was finally dissolved in 2002 and its assets transferred to NASFUND

Waigani Land Fraud

The Commission of Inquiry found that in 1999 NPF Chairman, Jimmy Maladina had influenced the Fund to purchase a piece of land in Waigani, which he secretly held an interest in, at an exorbitantly inflated price.

Maladina had acquired the lease for the Waigani land in 1997, via his company Waim No.92 Pty Ltd, at a reduced price of PGK1.4 million, instead of the market value of PGK2.87 million. The Commission found that Maladina negotiated this reduction by bribing the chairman of the Lands Board, Ralph Guise, and the Lands Minister, Viviso Seravo.

Following his appointment as Chairman of the NPF in January 1999, Maladina with NPF’s Legal Advisor, Herman Leahy, arranged for NPF to purchase the rights to the Waigani Land, by purchasing a 100 percent shareholding in Waim No.92 for an inflated price of PGK10 million. Maladina had not declared that he held an interest in Waim No.92.

However, when news of the proposed acquisition was published in the national media, the ensuing outcry against the exorbitant price led Prime Minister Bill Skate, to force NPF’s withdrawal from the purchase.

NPF Tower Fraud

deloitte-tower

The Commission of Inquiry also found that Jimmy Maladina, Herman Leahy and Peter O’Neill had profited by K2.5 million in a fraudulent scheme involving Japanese construction firm, Kumagai Gumi.

Kumagai Gumi was contracted by NPF to build what is now known as the Deloitte Tower in Port Morseby, in 1997. The project was beset by delays and overran its initial schedule, which when coupled with the devaluing of the Kina in 1998 and 1999, reduced the profitability of the project for Kumagai Gumi and led it to register a devaluation claim against NPF.

Maladina agreed with Kumagai general manager, Shuichi Taniguchi, that he would ensure that NPF pay out a K5.8 devaluation settlement provided that K2.5 million of this then be paid to Maladina, by way of commission. The monies were paid as agreed and the PGK2.5 million was shared between Maladina, O’Neill and Leahy.

The Deloitte Tower is now owned by NASFUND.

Charges against Jimmy Maladina and Peter O’Neill

As a result of the Inquiry findings, Maladina was referred to the Commissioner of Police, but fled to Australia to avoid arrest. The government of PNG applied for the extradition of Maladina from Australia, but he returned to PNG voluntarily.

The Commission also referred then Treasurer Peter O’Neill to the Commissioner of Police for his involvement in both the NPF Tower fraud and the Waigani land case. O’Neill was brought before the Waigani Committal Court in 2005 and charged with misappropriation, but the charges were dropped.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 763 days and counting…

July 27, 2015 1 comment

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There has still been NO ACTION to cancel the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging in Papua New Guinea.

It is now 763 days, more than two years, since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

O’Neill has REPEATEDLY STATED the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill told Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

Most recently O’Neill promised a new Task Force to look at the Commission of Inquiry recommendations, but, WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 763 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Crucially he has failed to take any action to remove the corrupt public servants responsible for the land grab or distance himself from the politicians, including key Minister’s, complicit in the illegal deals and who are now blocking any positive action to revoke the leases and stop the logging.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

sabl cartoon

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 756 days and counting…

July 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

SABL_billboard

px-logo land grabbing

sabl cartoon

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 749 days and counting…

July 13, 2015 Leave a comment

count

There has still been NO ACTION to cancel the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging in Papua New Guinea.

It is now 749 days, more than two years, since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

O’Neill has REPEATEDLY STATED the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill told Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

Most recently O’Neill promised a new Task Force to look at the Commission of Inquiry recommendations, but, WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 749 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Crucially he has failed to take any action to remove the corrupt public servants responsible for the land grab or distance himself from the politicians, including key Minister’s, complicit in the illegal deals and who are now blocking any positive action to revoke the leases and stop the logging.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

sabl cartoon

Current corruption scandal has its roots in the NPF saga

June 30, 2015 1 comment

Have a look at some of the Findings of the NPF Commission of Inquiry, you might just a have a better appreciation about the people now being talked about as a result of the SBS Dateline Video.

Look at how much money was lost then and since and this country continues to loose millions (by now it must be Billions) to a few filthy rich Papua New Guineans with their expatriate friends.

Corruption is derailing this country and the rights of the future generations to benefit from their equal share. We all have to act to stem this at the bud.

NPF Final Report

Post Courier, 2003

This is the 60th extract from the National Provident Fund (now known as NASFUND) Commission of Inquiry report. The inquiry was conducted by retired justice Tos Barnett and investigated widespread misuse of member funds. The report recommended action be taken against several high-profile leaders, including former NPF chairman Jimmy Maladina. The report was tabled in Parliament on November 20by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

Executive Summary Schedule 6
Of major concern to the commission were large payments to Mecca No.36 Pty Ltd (now South Supa Store) owned by Peter O’Neill and NPF trustee Nathaniel Poiya.
Findings
The commission finds the deposit of K10,833.33 was in respect of Mr O’Neill’s rental allowance for April 1999 and in consequence that K10,833.33 of Mr O’Neill’s funds were held in this account.
* In paragraph 12.3.2.2, the commission made the following findings:
(a) PMFNRE cheque # 266923 for K45,000 was sourced from the NPF Tower fraud money;
(b) As a consequence, K5,000 of the Tower fraud funds remained in this account;
(c) As we have said earlier, we will come back to the payments to Williams Graham & Carman shortly. Mr O’Neill’s evidence was that none of these earlier payments had been made for his benefit so his K10,833.33 should still have been held plus the K5,000 of NPF Tower fraud moneys aggregating K15,833.33;
(d) The cashbook balance according to PMFNRE (Exhibit T1017) was only K10,854.68. Again it is clear either PMFNRE was “using” this money or Mr O’Neill’s or the NPF Tower fraud funds had been used to pay other cheques;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.3, the commission made the following findings:
The two cheques each for K50,000 presented on May 4, 1999, were funded from the NPF Tower fraud money;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.4, the commission made the following findings:
(a) After considering the whole of the available evidence, the commission finds that the sum of K102,300 paid by the Carter Newell cheque # 788441 which was derived from the NPF Tower fraud money was placed under the control of Maurice Sullivan and Ken Barker of PMFNRE upon its deposit on May 4. 1999, and that in exercise of the control so placed in him Mr Barker on the same day directed payment out of such funds of the two cheques # 266924 and 266925 each for K50,000 to PNGBC the first to make an International Money Transfer of the equivalent of K50,000 to Williams Graham & Carman, Solicitors of Cairns Australia and the second to make an International Money Transfer of the equivalent of K50,000 to Mr O’Neill’s former wife Cheryl Caley;
(b) The commission further finds that the bank fees of K36 were also paid from this deposit and that all of these payments were from funds derived from the NPF Tower fraud.
(c) It follows from these findings that of the funds remaining in this PMFNRE No.1 Trust Account after such payments and the debit of bank charges the residue of this K102,300 deposit amounting to K2264 plus the earlier residue of K5000, aggregating K7264 were held out of the NPF Tower fraud moneys and that K10,833.33 was held on behalf of Mr O’Neill;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.5, the commission made the following findings:
The commission finds that this deposit of K10,833.33 was in respect of Mr O’Neill’s rental allowance for May 1999 and in consequence of its other findings that the funds of Mr O’Neill held in this account increased to K21,666.66;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.6, the commission made the following findings:
There is insufficient evidence for the commission to make any definite finding in relation to these two payments of K6000 and K5000.
* In paragraph 12.3.2.7, the commission made the following findings:
The only source from which this cheque for K100,000 could have been fully funded was the deposit of K300,000 on the same day (see (m) above), which was derived from the NPF Tower fraud;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.8, the commission made the following findings:
(a) Cheques # 266930 and # 266931 aggregating K17,379.11 were paid from Mr O’Neill’s own funds;
(b) The dilemma, as we have said earlier, is that if the K10,833.33 of Mr O’Neill was applied in the earlier payment of K50,000 to his former wife, then there would not have been sufficient of his funds to cover this second payment to his former wife;
(c) Again the situation is confused by the use of the MJS/KB code on deposits of both NPF Tower fraud moneys and Mr O’Neill’s moneys and the payment out of moneys for the benefit of Mr O’Neill as well as others;
(d) Later investigations support the possibility that the various credits formed one common fund;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.9, the commission made the following findings:
(a) It is totally clear that the deposit of K300,000 on Friday, May 14, 1999, derived from the NPF Tower fraud was banked with the “MJS/KB” code; that the K100,000 transfer to PMFNRE No.2 Trust Account on the same day was sourced from this deposit; that the K100,000 transfer to Mecca (No.36) Pty Limited the following Monday also with the “KB/MJS” code was also sourced from this deposit and finally that the cash withdrawal of K100,000 on the following Friday yet again with the “KB/ MJS” code was also sourced from that deposit;
(b) As will be seen later in this report, the K100,000 transferred to PMFNRE No.2 Trust Account was also converted to cash on May 14, 1999, and could not be traced further;
(c) On the evidence before the commission, it is clear that the second K100,000 was received by Mecca (No.36) Pty Ltd and that such money was not earned;
* In paragraph 12.3.2.10, the commission made the following findings:
(a) The payment of K100,000 to PMFNRE No.2 Trust Account on May 14, 1999, derived from the NPF Tower fraud and could not be traced further;
(b) The cash withdrawal of K100,000 on May 21, 1999, was derived from the NPF Tower fraud and was received by Ken Barker and later paid to Jimmy Maladina;
(c) The payment of K100,000 to Mecca No.36 on May 17, 1999, was derived from the NPF Tower fraud and it was unearned by Mecca No. 36;
(d) Mr Poiya was a substantial shareholder in and director of Mecca No.36 Pty Ltd (now South Super Stores Ltd). At the time of the K100,000 payment to Mecca No.36 Mr Poiya was a trustee of the NPF;
(e) MR Poiya and Mr O’Neill benefited from the payment to Mecca;
(f) THE benefit received by trustee Poiya was improper and the commission recommends that he be referred to the Ombudsman to consider whether there had been a breach of the Leadership Code by Mr Poiya; and
(g) The benefit received by Mr O’Neill was improper and at the time he was subject to the Leadership Code, being executive director of Finance Pacific.
The commission recommends that Mr O’Neill be referred to the Ombudsman Commission to consider whether there has been a breach of the Leadership Code.
The payments made to Williams Graham & Carman were: See table 1.
The commission finds that all these payments were from NPF Tower fraud money and all were paid to the lawyers in relation to the purchase by Bethgold of the Kanimlba property. The K50,000.00 to Cheryl Caley on May 4, 1999 was from the same source and for the same purpose.
Although Mr Barker and Mr Sullivan are shown as the directors and shareholders of Bethgold Mr Maladina and/or Mr O’Neill had beneficial interests in that company held for him/them by Mr Barker and Mr Sullivan.
The commission’s investigations clearly showed the criminal activities of Mr Barker and Mr Sullivan, former PMFNRE managers who had fled to Australia. At paragraph 12.3.4.1, the commission has found:
(a) Both Mr Sullivan and Mr Barker were involved in the laundering and disposal of the proceeds of the NPF Tower fraud through the PMFNRE No.1 Trust Account and the use of a code in that process strongly suggests “guilty” knowledge which may render both men accessories after the fact to that fraud;
(b) The commission recommended that Mr Sullivan and Mr Barker both be referred to the Commissioner for Police to consider charges for aiding the offence of fraud and any other offences;
(c) The commission also considered that Mr Barker:
(i) LIED on oath regarding the refund of K99,000 to Mr Maladina;
(ii) falsely denied knowledge of payments of K102,300 and K300,000 made by Mr Maladina to PMFNRE No.1 Trust Account; and
(iii) falsely stated that K60,000 and K690,000 were used to purchase Treasury Bills (see paragraph 12.3.4).
As Mr Barker is now permanently residing in Australia it would be a waste of resources to refer him to the Commissioner for Police to consider charging him with perjury under the Commissions of Inquiry Act. If he ever returns to PNG, he should be so referred.
As the commission’s inquiries continued it became clear that many payments were made to or at the direction of Mr O’Neill, that these payments far exceeded the total funds legitimately held by PMFNRE and that a significant portion of these additional payments were sourced from funds which demonstrably were the proceeds of the NPF Tower fraud.
In trying to explain these matters, some of Mr O’Neill’s explanations were unacceptable, internally inconsistent and contrary to clearly documented factual evidence. As inquiries progressed further and the successive ledgers were examined in more detail it became clear that Ledgers 18 and 31 were Mr O’Neill’s own ledgers.
At the end of the day the commission was forced to conclude that Mr O’Neill actually owned PMFNRE.
To test Mr O’Neill’s unsatisfactory evidence, the commission constructed an extension of the cashbook as at paragraph 12.3.6 as follows:
The reconstructed extension of cashbook from May 30, 1999 to September 29, 1999. See table 2.
It was then able to make the following further findings.
Findings
This deposit of K10,833.33 was in respect of Mr O’Neill’s rental allowance for June 1999;
* At paragraph 12.3.7.2, the commission found that:
(a) The two cheques for K55,120 and K920 account exactly for the proceeds of the Nambawan Finance cheque for K56,040 banked the previous day and the commission so finds;
(b) The receipt of K55,120 into the No.2 Trust Account was kept “off book”;
* At paragraph 12.3.7.4, the commission found that:
The cheque #028585 for K275,000.00 obtained by Hunter Real Estate Limited was proceeds of funds paid out of IBD held by the Registrar of the National Court, which was the subject of litigation between Mr O’Neill and Mr and Mrs Donald.
* At paragraph 12.3.7.5, the commission found that:
The deposit was in respect of Mr O’Neill’s rental allowance for July 1999;
* At paragraph 12.3.7.6, the commission found that:
The deposit of K275,000 into PMFNRE No.1 Trust Account on July 16, 1999, was paid into the No.2 Trust Account in three separate cheques and receipted as a deposit on PMFNRE sale of property by Hunter Real Estate.
The evidence of Mr O’Neill’s involvement with regard to the No.1 Trust Account is discussed at paragraph 12.3.8 and it is clear that the only funds paid into or held in the No.1 Trust Account for Mr O’Neill aggregated K32,449.99 or on the view most favourable to Mr O’Neill the total would be K57,499.99. Yet quite clearly the sum of at least K167,397.11 was paid out for his benefit or at his direction.
At paragraph 12.3.8.1, the commission has found that:
(a) Given the above explanation, the commission is compelled to conclude that the source of the differentials was Mr Maladina’s funds from the NPF Tower fraud and the explanation given by Mr O’Neill does not withstand testing and cannot be accepted.
(Mr O’Neill’s explanation is further reported below at paragraph 12.3.8.2).
(b) The PMFNRE No.1 Trust Account appears to have been treated as a common account containing the funds of Mr Maladina and Mr O’Neill and some other transactions.
Mr O’Neill’s explanations included claims that some of the payments were sourced from or paid as rental on his properties but his claim did not withstand scrutiny as other arrangements for rent were actually in place as recorded in detail in paragraph 12.3.8.3 of the Schedule.

npf1

npf2

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 735 days and counting…

June 29, 2015 Leave a comment

735

There has still been NO ACTION to cancel the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging in Papua New Guinea.

It is now 735 days, more than two years, since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

O’Neill has REPEATEDLY STATED the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill told Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

Most recently O’Neill promised a new Task Force to look at the Commission of Inquiry recommendations, but, WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 735 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Crucially he has failed to take any action to remove the corrupt public servants responsible for the land grab or distance himself from the politicians, including key Minister’s, complicit in the illegal deals and who are now blocking any positive action to revoke the leases and stop the logging.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

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