Police arrest ex-parliamentarian

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013

 FORMER parliamentarian Andrew Kumbakor was arrested yesterday for allegedly misappropriating K15,720 of district funds belonging to the Nuku electorate, Sandaun.

  Police alleged the offence was committed last November when he was serving as member.

Kumbakor’s arrest culminated from reports compiled by auditors investigating allegations of the theft and embezzlement of K13 million belonging to the Nuku district administration.

The audit was carried out under the Public Finance Management Act 1995, which stipulates that independent auditing is required under Section 103 of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments (1995) and Section 9 of the Public Management Act.

Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Operations Simon Kauba said the audit team exposed this anomaly while police fraud investigators instituted independent police investigations before arresting the former MP.

Kauba said the former housing minister submitted a claim for reimbursement of housing rental and was paid out of the Nuku district treasury funds.

Kumbakor alleged that his own money was used to pay for accommodation expenses for Nuku district officers between August 2006 and 2008.

The leader of Pangu party, one of Papua New Guinea’s biggest and oldest political parties, allegedly submitted invoices purportedly obtained from a real estate company to substantiate his reimbursement claim. 

However, detectives investigating the case believe Kumbakor had no proper receipts and invoices from the real estate company and the funds were misappropriated.   

Kauba said the payment was deemed illegal because all rentals including reimbursements for members of parliament were exclusively paid for by the Parliamentary Emoluments Section.

The Nuku district treasury cheque, number 1000586110, for K15,720 was raised and paid to Kumbakor’s personal account for a rented house at Gerehu Section 317 allotment 54 and 58 on Tarumana Avenue.