MILNE Bay Governor John Luke Crittin has presented hard evidence of fake citizenship certificates issued in 1996, to the parliamentary inquiry into the May riots against Asian businesses.
Mr Crittin turned up at the inquiry yesterday with a “yellow envelope” containing what he suspected were fake citizenship certificates issued to non-citizens dated 1996, when the Citizenship Committee had not met in that year.
The Citizenship Committee considers applications and then makes recommendations to the Foreign Affairs Minister who grants citizenship to foreigners.
“I know how the system works because in the last 10 years, some genuine people who applied were not able to get citizenship since 2006,” Mr Crittin said.
He said the Citizenship Committee did not sit since 2006 and only the Committee could make recommendations to the minister.
Mr Crittin said he had approached the Department of Foreign Affairs with his concerns about false citizenship documents.
“The passports they carry are genuine with the papers that go with it but it is very suspicious. I will present the citizenship certificates for the committee to verify whether these are genuine.”
Mr Crittin said the problem was not illegal immigrants but whether the documents were obtained by fraud or were fake.
He cited three Asians were recently questioned in Milne Bay as an example. Two of them could not speak English but have genuine work permits.
“The companies they work for do not even exist in Alotau.”
Mr Crittin said Alotau was a very small town and people knew each other.
“Because we are so strict in Milne Bay, we get threatened by the so-called Asian mafia in Port Moresby.”
Mr Crittin said he had made a complaint and a suspect was arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder, but was allowed K1,000 bail and was ordered to be deported.
“He used his lawyers to appeal and six months, later he is still moving around freely in Port Moresby.
“The problem with this country is that we do not enforce our laws.”
Mr Crittin said the Asian community was needed but the perception that they came in illegally would end up with people taking the law into their own hands.
“Let’s make our enforcement agencies work.”
He then submitted copies of the citizenship papers to the committee for further investigations.