9 accused of misusing K6mil


NINE people charged with misappropriating K6 million in Manam Resettlement Authority (MRA) funds will be served with their police files, a senior police officer says.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Northern command Peter Guinness said they would appear in the Madang District Court today.
The nine were charged with different charges under the Public Finance Management Act for allegedly misappropriating the money in 2019.
The Government in 2017 appropriated K20 million under its public investment programme budget for road and infrastructure development for the displaced Manam islanders at care centres in Bogia.
In 2018, a total of K8 million from the appropriated K20 million was released to the provincial government to manage on behalf of MRA.
Investigation into the alleged misappropriation revealed that K6 million was paid to the Ramu Development Foundation on April 4, 2019.
The foundation submitted 19 claims for reimbursement of money it used for various services provided on behalf of Madang administration during the Manam disaster operations between September and December 2018.
Police alleged that all 19 claims were approved by Madang administration and cheques were raised on April 6, 2019.
Guinness said the nine were from the first phase police investigations.
He said another three were recently arrested and charged in the second phase of investigation.
ACP Guinness said police were still carrying out investigations and would make more arrests.
He said police expected to make more arrests once the third phase of the investigation was completed.
Guinness said police were called in to investigate after allegations that K6 million belonging to the MRA had not been used for its intended purpose.