Ex-Customs officer guilty of fraud

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A COURT has convicted a former PNG Customs Service officer for corruptly receiving K5,000 to allow a shipment of contraband cigarettes into PNG three years ago.
Justice Teresa Berrigan in the National Court in Waigani convicted Runny Dau of official corruption and conspiracy to defraud on Thursday. Dau is from Anda village in Anglimp-South Waghi, Jiwaka.
The State alleged that while employed as a cargo officer by the PNG Customs Service at Motukea Wharf in Port Moresby between August and September 2018, Dau conspired with others to import contraband cigarettes into the country .
The State alleged that Dau facilitated the bypassing of normal processes and failed to ensure that the shipment was formally inspected before it was cleared for release.
As a result, she enabled the importers to avoid tax payment and customs duty for contraband cigarettes and received K5,000 for facilitating the clearance. The State called eight witnesses and tendered 19 documentary exhibits during the trial.
Dau exercised her right to remain silent at the trial.
When the container was seized by Customs on Sept 7, 2018, they found 114 cartons under the brand name “Double Happiness”.
The cigarettes were declared by Customs to be “unfit for consumption ” and destroyed.
Justice Berrigan said she was satisfied that Dau acted dishonestly when she received K5,000 on account of omitting to ensure the inspection of the container.