Investigation delay angers school chairman

National, Normal


RELEVANT government authorities tasked to investigate the exchange of K25,000 cash of K2.5 million RESI cheque for the New Erima Primary School in NCD allegedly by members of a syndicate operating out of the Vulupindi house have been asked to give details of the investigation.
Chairman of the New Erima Primary School, Simon Eyork, during a press conference organised by Transparency International PNG, said it had taken so long for the authorities to arrest the members of the syndicate to fight corruption in the department.
He said in 2007, the school submitted a K2.7 million project application to the Department of National Planning that was approved by the Education secretary Dr Joseph Pagalio.
He said funding was approved by a certain officer with the Department of Finance and Treasury and demanded for 10% commission.
Eyork said he discussed the demand from the officer with Planning and Monitoring secretary Joseph Lelang who gave K25,000 cash to use as bait catch members of the syndicate.
A woman delivering the cheque to exchange for the cash was detained by undercover police. At the Boroko police station, she revealed that another woman was involved who, when brought in for questioning, gave the names of three male suspects said to be part of the “10% commission” gang.
 “As a party I want to know the outcome of the investigation as the two women were released upon allegation that they received sexual harassment while in jail,” he said.
He said however, according to his investigations, their was no such thing as sexual threat against the two women but there release was highly suspicious which the police need to reveal to the public as they were dealing with public funds. 
Eyork said that he was still waiting for the school’s K2.5 million as it was already approved as the cheque brought by the woman was taken away by the police as court exhibit together with the cash from Lelang.
Fraud and anti corruption unit director Supt Donald Yamasombi, when contacted, said he was not briefed on any such investigations and referred the matter to the OIC CID Boroko.
OIC CID Chief Insp Mark Yagen declined to comment and referred to higher authorities.
He is also calling on the secretary for Finance and the Department of Treasury to also come out clear and tell the whole nation on what measures they were taking to stop corruption in their respective offices.