By JACOB POK
A FORMER senior Finance Department official who was charged with five counts of misappropriation of more than K4.2 million has been committed to stand trial in the National Court.
Ambros Vakinap, 45, of Avatip village, East Sepik province, appeared before Waigani Committal Court magistrate, Sinclair Gora, on five charges of official corruption, false pretence, receiving fraudulent claims, dishonestly applied and conspiracy.
Vakinap was the assistance secretary for advisory and liaison with Finance Department at the time when he committed the alleged offence.
The court heard that between Oct 17 and Nov 14, 2000, a false claim was lodged with the Finance Department by one Jimmy Kendi.
Kendi claimed that the PNG Defence Force, during the Bougainville crisis, went ahead and used some of his heavy equipment machineries without his authorisation.
He submitted a claim for K4.2 million for losses and damages caused to his property.
Whilst the claim was with the Finance Department, Vakinap allegedly conspired with Kendi and advised him on the steps and procedures involved to fast track such claims.
On Dec 14, 2000, the Finance Department approved the claim and paid a cheque of K4,298,037.33 to
The court heard that upon getting the payment, Kendi gave K183,000 to Vakinap for the assistance he provided on the claim.
Finance Department later conducted an investigation and find out that the claim was a fraudulent claim.
Kendi was arrested and charged with two counts of obtaining goods by false pretence and misappropriation of monies by fraudulent means under sections 383A (1) (a) of the Criminal Code.
Kendi was found guilty of the offence and the National Court in Kokopo sentenced him to 13 years
imprisonment with hard labour.
Vakinap was also arrested and charged for his alleged involvement in assisting Kendi in the fraudulent claim.
The count found that some of the charges lacked sufficient evidences while some evidences were considerable to be tried.
The matter was adjourned to Feb 15.
Vakinap to appear before the National Court.