FOREIGN Affairs, Trade and Immigration Minister Sam Abal has warned that people claiming to be seasonal worker scheme agents can be prosecuted for misleading innocent people and illegally collecting fees from them.
“These people claim that they have been recognised by PNG and Australian governments to be agents. That is false and misleading,” Mr Abal issued.
It was understood these con artists, despite warnings, misled gullible people to earn some quick money.
Such wanton disregard could tarnish the scheme’s long term benefits.
“The fact of the matter is that PNG and Australia have yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the facilitative arrangements setting out the details of the scheme,” he said in a statement.
The MoU and Facilitative Arrangements would pave way for PNG nationals to travel “down south” to be employed as seasonal workers.
The PNG Seasonal Workers Taskforce (PNGSWT), tasked by the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department was the only authorised people to deal with the matter.
In May this year, the National Executive Council endorsed the PNGSWT to deal with the seasonal worker scheme.
Mr Abal said the criteria agreed by both governments for the selection and sending arrangements were intensive and could not be done by agents and organisations.
“This is a government to government arrangement therefore, the processes are going to be handled by the Government.”
He said those false agents intending to send workers to Australia could face the law for people smuggling and face very heavy penalties.