Finance manager faces court in K400,000 case

National

By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
THE Waigani Committal Court in Port Moresby on Wednesday found sufficient evidence to commit a man charged with stealing more than K400,000 from his employer to stand trial at the National Court.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar handed down the ruling after sufficient evidence was found against Blaze Mara, 40, from Kapo village in West New Britain.
The court heard that Mara committed the crime during the time of his employment as a finance manager with non-governmental organisation Population Services International (PSI).
He had diverted money for his personal use. An internal investigation also revealed that Mara had diverted unused travel advances for PSI staff into his personal account without the knowledge of his employer.
The court heard that Mara fraudulently used other staff’s passwords and transferred funds electronically into his personal account. Police findings revealed that Mara was using three bank accounts and the  Vanimo office staff cash advances were also paid into his BSP personal account because PSI was using an ANZ account and there was no ANZ bank in Vanimo.
The court heard that Mara used his capacity as the finance manager to push for the transactions and the funds would then be remitted back to PSI’s account. The staff obliged and the money was paid into his bank accounts over a period of 14 months between March 28, 2014 and May 5, 2015.
Police investigations found that K374,308.27 was paid into Mara’s two bank accounts for his own use.
Mara used other employees’ passwords and forged the directors’ signature to authorise the transfer of funds from the PSI account into his personal account. Police investigations sighted 19 such fraudulent transactions totaling K432,506.43. The matter is adjourned to Sep 13.

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