166 recruits sent home

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
A GROUP of 166 army recruits has been dismissed after it was discovered that they had used fake education qualifications to enlist.
Colonel Dickers Esso, the PNG Defence Force training branch chief, said the 166 were named during a parade at the Goldie River training depot in Central and immediately ordered to take their personnel belongings and go home.
“We are now left with 188 recruits who will continue their military training and will pass out by the end of this year,” he said.
Col Esso said 354 had been accepted to undergo the basic recruitment training.
When discrepancies were discovered, everyone had to undergo further medical checks and had their education qualifications verified with the Education Department’s Measurement Services Unit.
It was discovered that 101 had failed their second medical test, 38 were over the maximum recruitment age of 26 and 28 did not come through the normal recruitment process.
Col Esso said the recruits were into the first month of training.
He said such irregularities could have been detected early if the recruitment officers at Murray Barracks had done their jobs properly.
“What we are doing is what our personnel branch had failed to do.
“They didn’t pick up these irregularities during the recruitment process,” he said.
“During our quality control check at training, we discovered the irregularities.
“We have to step in and clean up this mess once and for all.”
He said they had to put a stop to bribery and corruption in the recruitment process.

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