Home » Papua New Guinea PM potentially linked to Australia businessman facing corruption investigation

Papua New Guinea PM potentially linked to Australia businessman facing corruption investigation

by Derek Andrews
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Papua New Guinea police launched an investigation into the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape after an international investigation on Wednesday uncovered his potential hyperlinks to Don Matheson, an Australian Businessman being investigated for corruption. The inquiry into Matheson facilities round a joint report from Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Mission (OCCRP) and the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) that he made a number of funds to officers on the PNG Ports, the state-owned port. This was shortly earlier than his firm was awarded a number of high-profile authorities contracts to function in Papua New Guinea.

Matheson has a profession that has been marked with controversy in Australia. He was beforehand discovered responsible of deceptive enterprise companions, forcing him out of Australian enterprise. In 2010 Matheson started transferring many enterprise ventures to Papua New Guinea. Throughout that point, Matheson each made and obtained funds from people at PNG Ports. Most notably, he obtained 4.3 million {dollars} from the Philippines-based ports firm Worldwide Container Terminal Providers in 2017. In one other occasion, whereas Matheson served as chief contractor for PNG ports, the horse that he co-owned with the previous head of PNG ports Fego Kiniafa, revamped half one million {dollars} in prize cash.

The discharge of the Pandora papers, a large multi-national report exposing billions of {dollars} of hidden international funds, revealed these funds involving Matheson. By his attorneys Matheson has denied all wrongdoing and acknowledged the fees are “nothing in need of obfuscatory.”

Marape has been a vocal critic of Matheson and the investigation surrounding any potential corruption prices. He has additionally denied having any contact with Matheson greater than affiliation and “a couple of rounds of golf” at a enterprise occasion. Nonetheless, studies point out that there was a powerful working relationship between the pair. Each males appear to have made introductions for one another to distinguished politicians and businessmen in each Papua New Guinea and overseas. Included among the many introductions is the pinnacle of the state enterprises William Duma. In 2021, Duma despatched letters of advice advocating for Matheson to be awarded authorities contracts for land improvement within the coronary heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s Capitals metropolis. Duma is now in control of finishing up the investigation into any wrongdoing by Matheson. Duma has claimed that there isn’t a battle of curiosity at play in his decision-making, regardless of their prior relationship. He has additionally acknowledged that any media questions would solely be answered if there was express permission given to “inquire into home problems with one other nation.”

The top of Transparency Worldwide Papua New Guinea chapter, Peter Aitsi, stated that any relationship between the three might show to be a large blow to public confidence and belief within the authorities. He additionally acknowledged that if there’s proof of a relationship, Duma ought to step down from the investigation.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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