ABC News: PNG alleged corruption ‘brings shame to nation’

July 3, 2008 at 10:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

  

By PNG correspondent Steve Marshall

Posted Wed Jul 2, 2008 7:05pm AEST

International corruption watchdog Transparency International says the Papua New Guinea Government is doing little to fight corruption.

Papua New Guinea’s daily newspaper alleges that a Government minister has received more than $50 million in under-the-table payments from Asian logging companies.

The money is believed to be parked in a private Singapore bank account and represents a 2 per cent cut from every log exported from PNG between 2002 and 2007.

Transparency International PNG office spokesperson Peter Aitsi is calling on the Government to act.

“We are yet to see any real political will within this current government to take serious action against these issues of corruption,” he said.

“They bring shame to our nation.”

The Government is says it will not investigate the allegations until the newspaper or the opposition party produces evidence.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader and former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta is calling for a full investigation into the allegations.

“It is a very clear example of what I have been saying for some time – corruption is systemic and it’s institutionalised,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu has demanded the newspaper provide evidence.

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