Kwa reveals probe into forestry sector


JUSTICE and Attorney-General department secretary Dr Eric Kwa said they are investigating various illegal practices in the forestry sector.
Kwa, who is the chairman of two committees within the department – Anti-Money Laundering and National Anti-Human Trafficking – said this during the PNG 2019 Forestry Summit yesterday.
He said the two bodies were monitoring the industry and trying to identify corrupt practices such as money laundering, trafficking and other illegal behaviour.
“We are tracking all deposits because we want to know the source of the money and whether people are using companies as fronts to launder money,” he said.
“When you go to the bank to deposit large sums of money from K5,000 and above, you will be asked where the money came from.
“In forestry, we are going to talk to the landowners to see how they are managing their funds and find out if they notice any incidents at logging sites.
“This is because we want to track all the money that is coming in and going out of the country.
“We are also tracking people who are coming into this country, who are working at logging sites, and elsewhere to find out whether you are following the law.”
Kwa said this would also identify and stop people who were just coming into the country to benefit from projects.
“We’re tracking corrupt deals and I have set up a team that will be looking at every contract that the Government has signed and have not fulfilled your commitments,” he said.
“Forestry is no exception and we are talking to forestry to find out how many contracts and permits have been issued and the companies have left to other provinces without completing their commitments.
“We will also review cases in forestry that were previously declared by the courts has fraud related.”

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