Customs threatens to seize Kikori vessel

National, Normal

CUSTOMS has threatened to seize a boat bought by Kikori MP and Labour Minister Mark Maipakai for his electorate.
The boat, mv Kikori 2, was bought for more than K9 million from Karridale Pty Ltd.
The original contract price of the boat was K7.2 million, which later escalated to K9.08 million.
The variation of K1.8 million remained unclear.
Documents made available to The National did not indicate the reasons, although a letter by central supply and tenders board chairman Bryan Kimmins, dated April 14, 2010, approved the variation following a request by the Office of Rural Development.
The vessel arrived in Port Moresby on Sept 11 and was to remain until duty payments and other clearances were given. But, without meeting these Customs requirements, the boat sailed out, presumably for Kikori.
Customs wrote to the boat’s previous owners last week warning they had failed to comply with the requirements.
Customs also pointed out that the boat had sailed out without clearance, another breach that would invite penalties.
The outstanding duty owed to Customs was believed to be about K700,000.
Customs warned that it would seize the vessel for breach of the Customs Act if they did not comply.
Maipakai could not be reached for comments yesterday.