Treasurer’s claims are wrong: O’Neill

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FORMER prime minister Peter O’Neill has dared Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey to name the former prime minister (PM) implicated by the Financial Analysis and Supervisions Unit (Fasu) for money laundering.
O’Neill, who is the Ialibu-Pangia MP, also dared Ling-Stuckey to name the eight politicians who allegedly aided the former PM in laundering money through the Bank of South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP)
He warned Ling-Stuckey to be careful in tarnishing the bank’s reputation to protect the national economy.
O’Neill raised a point of order in Parliament on Friday after Ling-Stuckey suggested that a former PM was implicated by the Fasu report.
Ling-Stuckey said: “I am advised that Fasu is not able to give that information because they are not at liberty to give it.
“But, I intend to investigate further what appropriate action is available to my office.
“But, I do recall that in 2019, the Australian Financial Review newspaper, reported that a K35 million mansion in Sydney Harbour was sold to or lived in by a former prime PM from Papua New Guinea.
“Politicians are typically Government officials, board members of state-owned enterprises, relatives and close associates.”
However, O’Neill accused Ling-Stuckey of arranging with Komo-Margarima MP Manasseh Makiba to raise the allegation to score political points.
“Many of us in Parliament are professionals and businessman before becoming MPs.
“Some of us have good credit ratings with the financial institutions of this country.
“To tarnish peoples’ reputation with false information and accusations as such that the treasurer is alluding to is wrong.
“I did not own the K35 million mansion in Sydney.
“He has to provide evidence.
“I have also never transferred any money out of BSP.
“He has the obligation as treasurer to protect the financial institution in this country.
“Why I say this is two foreign banks – Westpac and ANZ, are leaving this country.
“Before we know it, none of us will do business in this country.
“Because of such baseless accusations, it is going to destroy the ability of Papua New Guineans who are doing business in their own country,” he said.
Ling-Stuckey was responding to Makiba who raised concern on Thursday that he (Ling-Stuckey) was turning a blind eye on the Fasu’s media report on July 13 implicating BSP for allegedly aiding money laundering by a politician in business with eight of BSP customers.
Makiba also claimed that the treasurer was turning a blind eye on BSP’s media report on July 14 denying Fasu’s investigation report and Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) Governor Loi Bakani distancing himself from the Fasu’s July 15 investigation report although Fasu is a unit of BPNG.
“I am aware of a notice that was published by the BPNG, seeking to distance itself from actions taken by Fasu against BSP, for non-compliance,” Makiba said.
“The notice clearly undermines Fasu, and therefore, the Government’s ability to regulate our financial system. I shall be issuing instructions to both the Treasury and the BPNG to provide me with full details of all issues mentioned in the notice.”