Officer faces corruption charge


A SENIOR fisheries licencing officer is facing charges of corruption and abuse of office after he was allegedly found issuing a fisheries licence illegally to a company to harvest beche-de-mer (sea cucumbers) during last year’s harvesting season.
Augustine Galuwa, 34, from Jame village in Maprik, East Sepik, appeared before Magistrate Cosmas Bidar in the Waigani Committal Court yesterday.
Galuwa, who is employed as a national fisheries senior licencing officer, was alleged to have issued an operating licence to a company, Morobe Fishermen Co-Operative Society Ltd (MFCOS), where MFCOS operated from June to Dec 31, last year.
According to police brief facts, Galuwa was also alleged to have received K2,000 from MFCOS to benefit himself upon the understanding that the fisheries export and storage facility licences would be issued to MFCOS without them paying the respective licences and bond fees.
The bond fees accumulatively total K60,000.
Magistrate Bidar made an adjournment after being advised that the court they would be seeking an adjournment because the lawyer and police prosecutor, that were in carriage of the matter were not in court.