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Chinese cry foul over Duran Farm housing project

April 25, 2018 Leave a comment

See Also: Port Moresby’s housing crisis just got worse – Duran Farm Development rotten to the core

Source: The National

NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop is concerned about the poor management of the joint Chinese-PNG government public housing project.

Parkop was told by a Chinese investor during a visit to China that he had being “misled” by the National Housing Corporation over the development of the multimillion kina housing project at Duran farm in Port Moresby .

Parkop said the Shenzhen-based Yinjiang industry expressed the concern during a visit to China by Parkop, Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko, city manager Bernard Kipit, city engineer Frank Ravu and financial adviser Augustine Ravi.

They went to Shenzhen city in China for a meeting on a sister city arrangement.

Parkop said the Yinjiang industry officials told the delegation in front of Shenzhen city deputy mayor Ai Xuefeng that they had invested K30 million in the housing project at Duran farm.

Parkop said they felt like they had been “taken for a ride”.

“It is a bit embarrassment for us to meet this type of problem when we are promoting investor confidence for more Chinese investment in PNG,” he said.

Parkop said the Yinjiang industry had already built 100 homes.

He said the NHC should have provided line services such as roads, sewerage, electricity and water to the project site.

“They have spent K30 million already and are getting nothing in return. So it doesn’t represent a good image of PNG,” he said.

He said they would raise the concern with Housing Minister John Kaupa. “I hope we can solve this problem so they can partner with us (NCDC) in the long run,” Parkop said.

Parkop said the National Capital District Commission’s housing project hoped to develop settlements into suburbs.

Kaupa had recently expressed his concern over how the housing project at Duran farm had been managed.

Film on PNG corruption fighters faces legal hurdle

April 20, 2016 1 comment

The Opposition is the first feature-length documentary to look into the murky world of real-estate developers, their political patrons, and PNG’s unsung heroes fighting against them.

It focuses on the famous case of Paga Hill, which the public accounts watchdog claims was acquired by ‘foreign speculators’ through ‘corrupt dealings’. Allegedly PM O’Neill’s business partner and former stablemate, Michael Nali, championed the project in government before becoming a shareholder.

The company behind the proposed luxury estate at Paga Hill, PHDC, is managed by its Icelandic CEO, Gudmundur Fridriksson, whose PNG business interests have featured in numerous anti-corruption inquiries.

However, in a dramatic twist, the film may never be publicly screened, that is, if political matriarch Carol Kidu gets her way. Back in 2012 Dame Kidu came out fighting against PHDC. In vocal public statements she accused them of fraud and corruption.

PHDC then offered her a handsome consultancy deal, through her firm CK Consultancy Limited. Dame Kidu took the contract. All criticisms of the developer stopped, and she has become the public face of PHDC’s Paga Hill development, giving it a thin gloss of corporate respectability. She strongly denies being bought off.

While PHDC are busily courting Chinese partners – with the blessing of NCDC Governor Powes Parkop – it is alleged Dame Kidu is petitioning the Australian courts to stop PNG from ever seeing this documentary film. Evidence submitted to the Australian courts indicate PHDC are backing Dame Kidu’s legal case.

A decision on the case is expected this week.

Australia-PNG commercial alliance brutalises community defending National Laws

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment

On 1 July 2014, the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the National Court that granted permission to the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) to evict residents of the historic Paga Hill community. The Supreme Court decided that the residents lived on reclaimed land outside PHDC’s lease, and were therefore exempt from the National Court’s eviction order.

While the case was before the courts, the reclaimed land at the centre of this proceeding, was registered and leased by the government to Audayap No.5 Limited, a subsidiary of PHDC. The use of a subsidiary concealed the real owner in the gazettal notices, which would have tipped off Paga Hill’s lawyers.

Then on the 22nd of July, without court sanction, the NCD and the RPNGC, demolished homes on the reclaimed land, only weeks after the residents won their Supreme Court battle.

With help from the late Rtd Judge Mark Sevua, the community launched contempt proceeds on the 6th of October against the Australian CEO of PHDC, Gudmundur Fridrksson (PHDC), and the Australian run contractor Curtain Bros Ltd. Also cited in the contempt proceedings is Governor Powes Parkop, and NCD Beat Unit Senior Constable, Gene Punai, who has been overseeing the harassment of community leaders.

Paga Hill Contempt of Court

Just over a week after the contempt proceedings were launched, the RPNGC goon squad arrived at Paga Hill. They demolished the remaining homes, destroyed the historic church, and burnt the pre-school to the ground. The people have nothing now, no shelter, no place for their children to learn, no place to workship.

10 October Demolition 2014 2

This is raw power at work – its an Australian led commercial alliance, whose interests are being protected by police and the NCDC. And at the head of this Alliance is Gudmundur Fridriksson who has been slammed in 4 x Public Account Committee reports, 2 x Auditor General reports, and 1 x Commission of Inquiry.

Enjoying the fruits of their ‘labour’, NCD-Central Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner Jerry Frank (far left) and PHDC CEO Gummi Fridriksson (far right)

Enjoying the fruits of their ‘labour’, NCD-Central Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner Jerry Frank (far left) and PHDC CEO Gummi Fridriksson (far right)

Save Paga Hill, prosecute the guilty!

Statement of the Charges

Statement of the Charges 2

Paga Hill demolition in blatant violation of Constitution says retired judge

August 4, 2014 2 comments

JUDGE MARK SEVUA Rtd

Judge Mark SevuaOn Tuesday morning, 22 July 2014; NCDC Officials with the assistance of armed Police, Paga Hill Development Company and Curtain Bros demolished the SDA Church located at Paga Point together with the shelters of the Settlers on the Reclaimed Land below Paga Hill at Paga Point. The demolition and destruction of the Church and the Settlers’ shelters were carried out without any consideration of human dignity and the interest and welfare of the affected citizens. This is a blatant violation of the Constitution!! !!!!

It is quite amazing that a person of the calibre of Powes Parkop, the NCD Governor, who used to be describe himself as a champion of “Human Rights” could authorise his employees and henchmen to destroy the Church and the Settlers’ life with the use of armed police, without any human consideration at all. I only wish that the three World War 2 bombs had exploded that day and destroy all those involved in the destruction of this area!!!!!!!!!!!

Where was NCDC when this area was filled by extracted rocks and soil from the Burns Peak Poreporena Freeway construction in the late 70s????? When did NCDC declare the Reclaimed Land at Paga Point to be “Part Commercial, Part Public Utilities and Part Open Space” ????? If NCDC claims title to the Reclaimed Land, why did it not prevent the Settlers from moving onto the Reclaimed Land from the start, when the area was filled????????

These citizens have been residing on this Reclaimed Land for many years without interference by any authority. The eviction exercise initiated by Paga Hill Development Company was wrong in the first place. Even the National Court Order to give vacant possession of Portion 1597 including the Reclaimed Land was also wrong. As determined by the Supreme Court on 1 July 2014, such order given by the National Court on 29th January 2014 excludes the area known as the Reclaimed Land. The reason is simple- Portion 1597 did not, does not, and never include the Reclaimed Land. Up to today, some Settlers are still residing on the Reclaimed Land under sun, wind and cold because they have nowhere to go. The destruction of their homes was done in haste and without affording them ample opportunity to relocate. NCDC headed by the so called “Human Rights” lawyer and Governor Powes Parkop must be held accountable for their employees’.actions, especially when there is a Supreme Court Order in place. I therefore call on the Governor of NCO, Curtain Bros, Paga Hill Development Company and the Police to compensate these Settlers who have fallen victims of the unconstitutional breaches by all those concerned. These Settlers are simple people, some unemployed, but they are nevertheless human beings and they deserved to be treated with human dignity.

It is ironic and quite sarcastic and stupid for Gudumundur Fridriksson to deny his company’s involvement when the Settlers have seen and identified Stanley Liria in company with NCDC and Curtain Bros employees in the area since the Supreme Court decision. The Settlers may be just ordinary people, but they are not stupid, and they know who Stanley Liria is.

I would suggest that the Settlers’ Lawyer should file contempt of court proceedings against Stanley Liria and his company and the others who have been involved in this destruction. Contempt of the Supreme Court Order is a very serious matter and hopefully the Supreme Court will deal with those who think they are smarter than the Supreme Court.

I condemn in the strongest terms possible the inhuman and unconstitutional treatment these ordinary Papua New Guineans have suffered at the hands of NCDC, Police, Curtain Bros and Paga Hill Development Company. I also condemn the unlawful use of threats and violence by armed policemen who behave as if they are above the law. They behave like armed criminals and

I call on Geoffrey Vaki and Jim Andrews to stop their armed thugs policemen from getting onto the sides of private companies and NCDC and to stop harassing unarmed civilians. Finally, I call of NCO Governor, Powes Parkop to apologise to the Settlers and compensate them for the damages inflicted on them through his employees. As a champion of human rights cause, he should be accountable for the abuse and breaches of human rights his employees had rendered to these simple innocent Papua New Guineans and o the right thing by these people who continue to suffer from the unconstitutional violations.

The Paga Hill demolition: Serious questions remain unanswered

July 31, 2014 2 comments

International State Crime Initiative

SCIA British based human rights research centre, the International State Crime Initiative, has raised concerns over the contradictory state-corporate response to the recent demolition exercise at Paga Hill.

The exercise left hundreds homeless, in addition to destroying WWII relics and a Seven-day Adventist Church.

It took place amidst multiple disputes over land at Paga Hill, an area which is currently earmarked for a ring road, in addition to a luxury real-estate project spearheaded by the Paga Hill Development Company.

ISCI researcher, Dr Kristian Lasslett, notes ‘this egregious demolition exercise appears to be something of an orphan. Governor Parkop has eschewed responsibility for the destruction, while the Paga Hill ring road contractor, Curtain Brothers, also denies involvement. So who then is responsible for vandalising priceless historical artefacts and destroying family homes?’

22 July Eviction

ISCI notes matters get even more confusing when attention is drawn to the legal status of the land on which the demolition took place.

‘For years the community at Paga Hill has contested an eviction order obtained by the Paga Hill Development Company. Those families living in lower Paga argue that their homes lie on reclaimed land outside the developer’s state lease. On the first of July this year, the Supreme Court made an order supporting the community’s argument’.

However, according to Dr Lasslett, ‘back in 2013 it appears that this reclaimed land was somehow surveyed and registered as Portion 3149 in Survey Plan Cat No.49/3107. Then in January this year the Land Board recommended that a Special Purpose Lease over the disputed land be awarded to Andayap No.5 Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Paga Hill Development Company. This arrangement was formalised in a gazettal notice dated the 4th of June 2014’.

ISCI questions why the Supreme Court was not alerted to this arrangement given its direct relevance to the community’s appeal.

‘Even when responding to the 1st of July Supreme Court decision, PHDC failed to mention that it had acquired title over the reclaimed land’, Dr Lasslett observes.

‘Instead, we were lead to believe that only the NCDC and Curtain Brothers had a tangible interest. The community at Paga Hill are devastated. They can’t understand how land the subject of a Supreme Court hearing, could be leased out by the government to the respondent in the case, without the appellant being alerted’.

Dr Lasslett adds, ‘we note that the Paga Hill Development Company has condemned both the NCDC and Curtain Brothers for organising the demolition exercise. Yet the company has not explained how this demolition could occur on land it owns, without PHDC’s knowledge, nor have they denied organising an identical style demolition on the exact same portion of land – which at that stage they did not own – in May 2012. Their chutzpah is extraordinary’.

According to the NCDC some of those left homeless by the most recent exercise have been relocated to a small plot of state land at Gerehu Stage 6. One relocated resident informed ISCI, ‘its not OK, no toilets, no power, no water, no houses and it’s not safe’.

Dr Lasslett notes, ‘some families have been abruptly shunted off to land at 6-Mile and Gerehu by PHDC and the NCDC respectively, with promises of security. Yet it appears they have no enforceable tenure rights to either plot of land, and now live in a terminal state of uncertainty, without anything resembling adequate housing’.

Appendices – Documents Relating to Supreme Court action and land Portion 3149

1 Supreme Court Order 1 July 20141 pg1

2 Supreme Court Order 1 July 2014 pg2

3 Survey Plan Portion 3149

4 Gazettal_Notice_Portion_31491

5 Gazettal_Notice_Portion_31492

6 Gazettal_Notice_Portion_31493

7 Gazettal_Notice_Portion_31494

8 Entity_Extract-ANDAYAP_NO._5_LTD-1-885961

9 Entity_Extract-ANDAYAP_NO._5_LTD-1-885962

MCC not the only major Chinese enterprise on World Bank corruption blacklist

November 17, 2013 3 comments

The PNG government should be wary about its new open door policy towards Chinese companies and loans.

Two years ago Chinese state-owned corporation MCC, operator of the controversial Ramu nickel mine in Madang, was exposed as having been labelled corrupt and blacklisted by the World Bank and other international banks.

MCC is clearly not the sort of company you want pumping millions of tons of toxic mine waste into your pristine marine environments. It is a shame Michael Somare did not do a better job of due diligence before jumping into bed with these particular Chinese!

In April we exposed the criminal antecedents of the China Harbour Engineering Company in Bangladesh, Cayman Islands and Jamaica – but in June Powes Parkop gave the company a K300 million contract!

But it appears the rot in China runs much deeper as MCC and CHEC are far from the only Chinese enterprises blacklisted by the World Bank for corruption and other unsavory practices.

The list also includes:

  • ZHEJIANG ZHEDA INSIGMA GROUP CO. LTD. (INSIGMA GROUP)
  • ZHEJIANG ZHEDA INSIGMA TECHNOLOGY CO. LTD.
  • ZHONGKE LIFE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
  • HEFEI HIGHWAY & BRIDGE PROJECT CO. LTD
  • DAQING OILFIELD HIGHWAY & BRIDGE ENGINEERING CO., LTD.
  • CHINA COMMUNICATIONS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LIMITED (as the successor or assign to China Road and Bridge Corporation)
  • CHINA GEO-ENGINEERING CORPORATION
  • CHINA STATE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CORPORATION
  • CHINA WUYI CO. LTD

It is not only the World Bank that has bared these companies for fraud and corruption. The companies are also on the blacklists of the Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Inter-American Development Bank.

PNG government beware!

Landholders beware!

Pacific Games Contract Blowout Whiffs of National Provident Fund Fraud

August 21, 2013 16 comments

Pacific Games contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been blacklisted by the World Bank for “fraudulent practices”. They have also been found by the Bangladeshi courts to have acquired contracts through bribery.

So when CHEC was handed a massive roads deal (K318 million) by the NCD, PNGxposed’s eyebrows were raised. So were Governor Parkop’s when he discovered through a viral social media campaign what his auditors had not, and he duly suspended the contract.

Now we learn CHEC has been given the contract to build the 2015 Pacific Games village at the University of PNG. According to the Good Governance Advocacy Forum the project is costed at K190 million, yet CHEC was allegedly awarded an astronomical K263 million, that is a K73 million excess. Other contractors we are told bid around K190 million.

The argument that CHEC are a ‘world class’ outfit worth the extra splurge has been definitely torn apart by the Jamaican Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, who following an audit inquiry, reported that CHEC had, “wanton disregard for conventions and procedures established by the Government of Jamaica for projected implementation, administration and management. These breaches of existing procurement guidelines have drained precious budgetary resources and undermined the very foundation of public institutional integrity”.

So why would the PNG government allegedly pay an extra K73 million to a company blacklisted by the World Bank and slammed for shonky work by the Jamaican government?

The answer may lie in another anti-corruption investigation conducted into the National Provident Fund, by esteemed judge Tos Barnett. Here it was alleged that Peter O’Neill, Jimmy Maladina and Herman Leahy conspired to inflate contract costs, and each took cuts of the excess.

Of course, the Pacific Games is being organised under the watchful eye of Justin Tkatchenko. Should we be worried, surely he would not allow untoward graft to take place? If past anti-corruption inquiries are anything to go by, be worried.

In 1999 a Special Investigation into Fraud, Corruption and Financial Mismanagement at the National Capital District Commission, done by TSK International, found that Justin Tkatchenko as Acting City Administrator fraudulently obtained a total of K12,000 through two cheques in the sums of K4,000 and K8,000.

In 2003 the Parliamentary Accounts Committee was asked by Parliament to conduct an investigation into alleged corruption in the Parliamentary Service. The Committee submitted its report in September 2003 after summonsing witnesses and hearing evidence given on oath.

The PAC investigation found Justin Tkatchenko’s company Kitoro No.33 was awarded a K1.5 million contract to maintain parliamentary gardens, in breach of procurement procedure. The Kitoro tender was received 3 months AFTER the closing date. The tender submitted was only for twelve months but a three year contract was awarded. The original contract amount of K490,000 was K190,000 above the limit imposed by the Public Finance Management Act. The lowest bid for the project tender was just K12,000 per year. Kitoro was awarded contract totalling K837,738 that did not go to public tender.

The PAC recommended the contracts with Kitoro No.33 be terminated immediately and the officers responsible for the tendering, awarding and executing of the contract face ‘appropriate action’.

It seems inflated contracts are something of a tradition among NEC colleagues, if the anti-corruption reporting is anything to go by. Perhaps this could explain why a blacklisted Chinese company was gifted K73 million by the PNG government, a gift its own citizens are much more in need of.