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Posts Tagged ‘Zacchary Gelu’

New Chief Secretary has never answered for $3.7m Finance Department fraud

February 9, 2016 Leave a comment

lupari

Our new Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari, was identified to be at the centre of a K3.7 million fraud by the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry. He was recommended for investigation by the police for fraud and conspiracy but has never been prosecuted…

Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 million
First published May 31, 2010
Former Ambassador to the European Union, Departmental Head and Consultant to the Prime Minister, Isaac Lupari stole K3.7 million from the people of PNG through false claims for breach of contract according to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.
The false claims were drafted and submitted by Guguna Garo, of Paul Paraka lawyers, and were illegally settled by the then Solicitor General, Zachary Gelu. In addition to the K3.7 million, a further K800,000 was paid to Paul Paraka lawyers from public funds for their role in facilitating the fraud.
The Commission of Inquiry has recommended Isaac Lupari, Zacchary Gelu and Guguna Garo all be investigated by the police with a view to prosecution for fraud and conspiracy.
From 1997 through to 2009, Isaac Lupari was employed by the State in a series of senior positions including Secretary Finance, Secretary Defence, Secretary Works, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Michael Somare, Secretary Transport, Ambassador to the European Union and Chief Secretary. In these positions Lupari was handsomely rewarded, receiving, for example K1,294,133 in the four-and-a-half year period between September 1997 and April 2002
But being paid over K270,000 a year wasn’t enough it seems because in December 2001 Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate employment contracts. Lupari claimed he had successively been unlawfully terminated as Secretary Finance, Defence, Personnel Management and Transport and was entitled to claim the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts. These claims were fraudulent as Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements and was employed by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond.
However, Lupari’s initial legal claims were never pursued as when Somare was elected PM in 2002, Lupari agreed to withdraw them as part of the deal that saw him appointed as Ambassador to the EU. Lupari though did not honour that agreement and five months later, in January 2003, Paul Paraka lawyers resubmitted the four claims on behalf of their client.
Less than two months after the four claims were filed with the Court they were approved for settlement by Solicitor General Zachary Gelu. Gelu agreed to settle the claims despite clear instructions from the Department of Personnel Management that the claims were unlawful, without merit and should be vigorously defended.
Gelu personally signed the Deed of Settlement awarding Lupari K3,703,461.31 and at the same time approved the payment to Paul Paraka lawyers of an additional K800,000 for their costs (a hugely inflated figure given the claims had only been issued two months earlier).
Lupari’s illegal claims were drafted and filed by Guguna Garo of Paraka lawyers. The Commission found that Mr Garo must have known that at least one of the claims he submitted was baseless and that in all four cases he would have known Mr Lupari had suffered no loss. The Commission found Mr Garu knowingly misled the court from the very start.
Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari  (220KB)

Paraka scam reports finally released

November 30, 2013 2 comments

Forty-two months after PNGexposed first published them – The Paraka Scams: K780 million stolen from the people – the courts have finally sanctioned the release of the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry reports

Damning report released into PNG’s Finance Department

By Liam Fox 

A judge in Papua New Guinea has lifted an injunction preventing the publication of a damning report into corruption at the country’s finance department.

A Commission of Inquiry spent several years investigating allegations of widespread corruption at the Finance Department.

In 2010, the day after its report was tabled in parliament, lawyer Paul Paraka and the former Solicitor General Zachary Gelu obtained a court injunction suppressing the report.

They sought a judicial review of the inquiry but the National Court has rejected the application and discharged the injunction.

The report details how the department paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in sham compensation claims.

It recommended more than 50 people including lawyers, senior bureaucrats and businessmen be referred for criminal prosecution.

PM’s Chief of Staff in K3.7 million Finance Dept fraud says Commission of Inquiry

May 29, 2013 2 comments

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill likes to talk tough about cracking down on corruption but his own Chief of Staff was recommended for prosecution in the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry report for fraudulently claiming K3.7 million as part of the Paraka Scams which have cost PNG hundreds of million…

 

Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 million

First published May 31, 2010

Former Ambassador to the European Union, Departmental Head and Consultant to the Prime Minister, Isaac Lupari stole K3.7 million from the people of PNG through false claims for breach of contract according to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.

The false claims were drafted and submitted by Guguna Garo, of Paul Paraka lawyers, and were illegally settled by the then Solicitor General, Zachary Gelu. In addition to the K3.7 million, a further K800,000 was paid to Paul Paraka lawyers from public funds for their role in facilitating the fraud.

The Commission of Inquiry has recommended Isaac Lupari, Zacchary Gelu and Guguna Garo all be investigated by the police with a view to prosecution for fraud and conspiracy.

From 1997 through to 2009, Isaac Lupari was employed by the State in a series of senior positions including Secretary Finance, Secretary Defence, Secretary Works, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Michael Somare, Secretary Transport, Ambassador to the European Union and Chief Secretary. In these positions Lupari was handsomely rewarded, receiving, for example K1,294,133 in the four-and-a-half year period between September 1997 and April 2002

But being paid over K270,000 a year wasn’t enough it seems because in December 2001 Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate employment contracts. Lupari claimed he had successively been unlawfully terminated as Secretary Finance, Defence, Personnel Management and Transport and was entitled to claim the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts. These claims were fraudulent as Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements and was employed by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond.

However, Lupari’s initial legal claims were never pursued as when Somare was elected PM in 2002, Lupari agreed to withdraw them as part of the deal that saw him appointed as Ambassador to the EU. Lupari though did not honour that agreement and five months later, in January 2003, Paul Paraka lawyers resubmitted the four claims on behalf of their client.

Less than two months after the four claims were filed with the Court they were approved for settlement by Solicitor General Zachary Gelu. Gelu agreed to settle the claims despite clear instructions from the Department of Personnel Management that the claims were unlawful, without merit and should be vigorously defended.

Gelu personally signed the Deed of Settlement awarding Lupari K3,703,461.31 and at the same time approved the payment to Paul Paraka lawyers of an additional K800,000 for their costs (a hugely inflated figure given the claims had only been issued two months earlier).

Lupari’s illegal claims were drafted and filed by Guguna Garo of Paraka lawyers. The Commission found that Mr Garo must have known that at least one of the claims he submitted was baseless and that in all four cases he would have known Mr Lupari had suffered no loss. The Commission found Mr Garu knowingly misled the court from the very start.

Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari  (220KB)

The Paraka Scams: Read the archives; Download the report

May 21, 2013 6 comments

In 2010 we published the details from the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry.

But those whole stole hundreds of millions of Kina have never faced justice.

Please take a moment to remind yourself of the enormous scale of their crime:

The Paraka scams – K780 million stolen from the peoplehttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/the-paraka-scams-k780-million-stolen-from-the-people/

The full Finance Department Commission of Inquiry reporthttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/the-full-finance-department-commission-of-inquiry-report/

Paul Paraka lawyers trying to block private email messages and censor access to the internet https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/paul-paraka-lawyers-trying-to-block-private-email-messages-and-censor-access-to-the-internet/

Yama and Gelu conspired to steal K15.5 million from the people of PNGhttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/yama-and-gelu-conspired-to-steal-k15-5-million-from-the-people-of-png/

Finance Sec Gabriel Yer led a triad whole stole K1.6 millionhttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/finance-sec-gabriel-yer-led-a-triad-whole-stole-k1-6-million/

Zacchary Gelu and Mundua Kua tried to steal K1.7 million in another Paraka style scamhttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/zacchary-gelu-and-mundua-kua-tried-to-steal-k1-7-million-in-another-paraka-style-scam/

Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 millionhttps://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/isaac-lupari-aided-by-gelu-and-paraka-lawyers-stole-k3-7-million/

Dept of Lands completely incompetent and dishonest https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/dept-of-lands-completely-incompetent-and-dishonest/

Soiat Williams and Zacchary Gelu conspired to steal K500,000 – https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/soiat-williams-and-zacchary-gelu-conspired-to-steal-k500000/

Tom Rangip and Pacific Paradise Foods unlawfully paid K14.85 million  – https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/tom-rangip-and-pacific-paradise-foods-unlawfully-paid-k14-85-million/

Soiat Williams and Gelu conspired to steal K500,000 from the people

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

PNG Exposed is republishing this story from 2010 as neither Soiat or Gelu have ever faced justice for their crime

Mr. Soiat Williams, former Secretary for Department of Personnel Management, conspired with Zacchary Gelu, former Solicitor General to steal K500,000 from the people of PNG.

The details of the scam are revealed in the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.

Williams claimed the K500,00 as damages for what he said was the unlawful revocation of his appointment as Departmental Head for Personnel Management on 30 November 2000.

However, records obtained from the Department of Personnel Management indicate that in 2002 Mr Williams acknowledged and accepted a payment of K407, 003.63 as final clearance of all sums due to him under his contract of employment. The acceptance of this payout nullified any claim as to damages as it meant Mr Williams had not suffered any loss as a result of his termination

Because of this payout the Department of Personnel Management wrote a letter to the Solicitor General containing specific advice and instructions from the DPM to defend the claim brought by Mr Wiliams.

Despite these instructions, the then Acting Solicitor General, Zacchary Gelu executed a Deed of Release on behalf of the State with Mr. William for the sum total of K500, 000.00 on 17th February 2003.

This payment was, according to the Commission of Inquiry, illegal as it was a double payment of the monies accepted earlier by Mr Williams.

Read the Commission Report on Soiat Williams

Lupari, Gelu and Garu stole K3.7m in a single scam

December 1, 2011 1 comment

Former Ambassador to the European Union, Departmental Head and Consultant to the Prime Minister, Isaac Lupari stole K3.7 million from the people of PNG through false claims for breach of contract according to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.

The false claims were drafted and submitted by Guguna Garo, of Paul Paraka lawyers, and were illegally settled by the then Solicitor General, Zachary Gelu. In addition to the K3.7 million, a further K800,000 was paid to Paul Paraka lawyers from public funds for their role in facilitating the fraud.

The Commission of Inquiry has recommended Isaac Lupari, Zacchary Gelu and Guguna Garo all be investigated by the police with a view to prosecution for fraud and conspiracy.

From 1997 through to 2009, Isaac Lupari was employed by the State in a series of senior positions including Secretary Finance, Secretary Defence, Secretary Works, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Michael Somare, Secretary Transport, Ambassador to the European Union and Chief Secretary. In these positions Lupari was handsomely rewarded, receiving, for example K1,294,133 in the four-and-a-half year period between September 1997 and April 2002

But being paid over K270,000 a year wasn’t enough it seems because in December 2001 Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate employment contracts. Lupari claimed he had successively been unlawfully terminated as Secretary Finance, Defence, Personnel Management and Transport and was entitled to claim the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts. These claims were fraudulent as Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements and was employed by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond.

However, Lupari’s initial legal claims were never pursued as when Somare was elected PM in 2002, Lupari agreed to withdraw them as part of the deal that saw him appointed as Ambassador to the EU. Lupari though did not honour that agreement and five months later, in January 2003, Paul Paraka lawyers resubmitted the four claims on behalf of their client.

Less than two months after the four claims were filed with the Court they were approved for settlement by Solicitor General Zachary Gelu. Gelu agreed to settle the claims despite clear instructions from the Department of Personnel Management that the claims were unlawful, without merit and should be vigorously defended.

Gelu personally signed the Deed of Settlement awarding Lupari K3,703,461.31 and at the same time approved the payment to Paul Paraka lawyers of an additional K800,000 for their costs (a hugely inflated figure given the claims had only been issued two months earlier).

Lupari’s illegal claims were drafted and filed by Guguna Garo of Paraka lawyers. The Commission found that Mr Garo must have known that at least one of the claims he submitted was baseless and that in all four cases he would have known Mr Lupari had suffered no loss. The Commission found Mr Garu knowingly misled the court from the very start.

Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari

Zacchary Gelu should never be employed again

November 30, 2011 6 comments

Former Solicitor General, Zacchary Gelu, should never be employed again in a senior position in the public service. This is the stark recommendation from the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance after it found Gelu implicated in many of the scams in which a total of K780 million was stolen from the people of PNG between 2000 and 2006.

The particular scam that prompted the Commission’s recommendation involved the former Administrator of the Southern Highlands, Tau Liu. In 1999 Liu claimed over K220,000 in damages from the State for alleged wrongful dismissal although in fact he had in fact only been suspended from duty, not terminated. In February 2003, then Solicitor General, Zacchary Gelu, agreed to the claim and signed a deed of release in the sum of K305,410.61 (which included more that K70,000 in interest payments).

The claim was approved by Gelu even though the State had initially filed a defence and had several good grounds to ask the court to dismiss the claim. This included the fact that Liu had not been terminated, that he had failed to answer the disciplinary charges against him and had failed to give proper notice of his claim. Even if the State had been liable then Liu would only have been entitled to damages equivalent to three months pay – a fraction of the sum he actually received.

The Department of Finance  paid out over K773,000 to Mr Liu in settlement of this claim and a second claim in respect of his employment as Administrator for Western Province. That claim was also approved by Gelu.

The Commission concluded:

The amount paid by the State in settlement of the Plaintiffs claim is exorbitant, unreasonable and may have been calculated with a view to defraud the State of a large sum of money

In light of such conduct Mr. Gelu should never be allowed to hold a high position as that of SG ever again.

His conduct clearly showed that he was not there to protect the interest of the State but perhaps for his own gain.

This-is clearly negligence on the part of Mr. Gelu.

The Commissions report on the Liu scam is also scathing of the conduct of then Attorney General Michael Gene for his failure to protect the interests of the State in the advice that he gave in the matter.

The parts of the Commission report relevent to Mr Liu’s claim can be downloaded here  Liu

Gelu and Kua tried to steal K1.7m in another Paraka style scam

November 26, 2011 2 comments

Former Solicitor General Zacchary Gelu and lawyer Mundua Kua have been recommended for prosecution for fraud by the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry over yet another theft from the people of PNG – this time in the sum of K1.7 million

In 2001, Mundua Kua in the Solicitor General’s office conspired with private lawyer Joe Wal, to fraudulently resurrect an old and out-of-date claim for damages against the State. Not only was the claim resurrected, the lawyers added 77 new plaintiffs to the claim (new plaintiffs that the Commission describes as “patently false”) and increased the amount of damages claimed from K123,000 to over K2 million.

Despite the fact the resurrected claim was out of time, there was no requisite Section 5 notice and the Solicitor General’s office had clear instructions disputing the facts of the original claim, the Solicitor General’s office consented to the changes.

Then in October 2002, Zacchary Gelu signed off on a Certificate of Judgment in the sum of K1.7 million despite the claim being patently flawed and never having been tested in court and without seeking the necessary Ministerial approval. Gelu then sent the Certificate off to the Finance Department with a covering letter asking for immediate payment.

Although by the time of the Commission hearings Joe Wal had died, his daughter Maryanne, who had taken over his legal practice,  had already collected the K1.7 million from the Department of Finance. The Commission has recommended legal action to recover this money.

Read the full Commission findings on this scam here Kua and Gelu[1]

Gabriel Yer led a triad who stole K1.6m

November 24, 2011 2 comments

Former Finance Secretary Gabriel Yer conspired with Francis Damem, Paul Paraka and Zacchary Gelu to steal K1.6 million from the people of PNG as part of the Paraka Scams.

Gabriel Yer, through his lawyer Paul Paraka, submitted a false claim for damages against the State, using the name of his then 9-year-old son, Umba Y Gabriel, to cover his tracks. The Commission of Inquiry found the claim

had all the hallmarks of a scam claim created and facilitated by a triad of people in- the highest offices of the PNG bureaucracy. It was initiated by a serving Deputy secretary for Finance (current Secretary, Mr. Gabriel Yer) as principal plaintiff… The claim was settled in record time by a willing Solicitor General (Mr. Zachary Gelu) and an even more obliging Secretary for Justice Department (Mr. Francis Damem).

Yer should be immediately sacked and then investigated by the police says the Commission report, along with Paraka, Damem and Gelu.

The claim filed by Paraka lawyers on behalf of Gabriel Yer related to an alleged raid by police on Yer’s home village in August 2000. Paraka knew all about the alleged raid as he had successfully defended a claim by the genuine villagers for compensation against the State just a few months earlier. But having defended that claim he used exactly the same set of facts to submit the false claim on behalf of Yer.

The claim was allegedly filed in the National Court (although no record can be found in the Court Registry) and just FOUR weeks later a cheque was issued for K1,649,130 to settle the matter.

It was settled in record quick time by Gelu and Damem despite:

  • the fact the claim was out of time;
  • the proper legal notices were never filed;
  • the court has no record of the claim;
  • a nine year old has no legal standing to bring a claim; and
  • the State had already successfully defended a claim based on the same facts.

The Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice Sheehan with Justice Davani and Don Manua, is scathing in its criticism of all four men involved in the scam.

Although appointed in August 2006, the Commission faced numerous legal challenges, mainly from Paraka lawyers who represented Yet, Damem and Gelu throughout the hearings.

The Commission also suffered interruptions to its funding so that in the three years from 2006 it was only able to operate for a total of 12 months and its final report, published in October 2009, only contains the findings from 45 full investigations with 212 more still outstanding.

The Commission Report relating to Yer and his triad can be downloaded here:

Yer, Gelu, Paraka and Damen scam

Yama and Gelu conspired to steal K15.5m from the people of PNG

November 23, 2011 1 comment

Controversial businessman and former politician, Peter Yama, conspired with then Solicitor General, Zacchary Gelu, to steal K15.5 million from the people of PNG, according to the report of the Department of Finance Commission of Inquiry.

Both Yama and Gelu, together with State lawyers, Neville Devete and Lais Kandi have been recommended for prosecution by the police for their roles in the scam which involved an unlawful claim against the State which the lawyers failed to defend.

Peter Yama’s claim was based on his contention that for 9 years from 1990 he was prevented access to a piece of State land that he had leased for 99 years in 1988. Yama filed his claim through Poro lawyers in August 2002, demanding K38 million in damages.

The Commission of Inquiry found that Yama’s claim was entirely fraudulent in that:

  • he failed to comply with a mandatory procedural requirement,
  • filed his claim many years too late,
  • had no cause of action,
  • filed the claim in respect of a piece of land that DID NOT exist
  • did NOT have a lease over the land named in his claim,
  • filed the claim despite OWING the State K60,000 in rent arrears, and
  • NEVER served his claim on the Department of Lands.

Despite these numerous legal flaws, Attorney General Zacchary Gelu executed a Deed of Settlement in November 2002, granting Yama K15.5 million from the public purse.

The Commission of Inquiry reports details the many “serious failures” of Zacchary Gelu in the performance of his duties and the “ample evidence” of his culpability in authorizing the payment of K15.5 million which was “baseless and patently flawed”.

Police are currently prevented from investigating Yama and the lawyers because of a court injunction obtained by Paul Paraka and Zacchary Gelu challenging the legitimacy of the Commission of Inquiry.

The Commission of Inquiry was headed by Justice Sheehan with Justice Davani and Don Manua.

Although appointed in August 2006, the Commission faced numerous legal challenges from parties under investigation and interruptions to its funding so that in the three years from 2006 it was only able to operate for a total of 12 months and its final report, published in October 2009, only contains the findings from 45 full investigations with 212 more still outstanding.

The Commission Report relating to Yama and Gelu can be downloaded here:

Yama and Gelu