Magistrate strikes out K10m fraud-related case

The National, Friday July 22nd, 2016

The Waigani Committal Court on Wednesday struck out the case of a man charged with misappropriation, intimidation, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud involving K10 million.
Anton Kifan Hombuhanje, 46 and from Yangoru-Saussia district of East Sepik, was alleged to have misappropriated and dishonestly applied K10 million of public funds to his own use.
The court heard that a police file was not given to Hombuhanje and his case had been in court for more than three months.
“It’s a usual practice of this court to give three months to police to conduct investigations and present files to the defendant,” senior magistrate Cosmas Bidar explained in court.
Bidar told the court that he would not consider a letter from the arresting officer asking the court to adjourn the matter.
He said the proper way was that the arresting officer gave instructions through police prosecutors.
The court ordered that Hombuhanje be refunded his K4000 bail money.
Police alleged that on May 13, 2013, nine days after the incorporation of Hombuhanje’s company, Wia Rural Communication (WRC) Ltd, it entered into a rural service re-seller agreement with Telikom PNG Ltd.
On May 16, 2013 a company account was opened with Westpac in Waigani and the next day K10 million was wired by Bank of Papua New Guinea to WRC’s account.
It was alleged that within months 80 per cent of the funds were depleted and there was no clear evidence of funds being disbursed for the intended purpose.