The National, Friday 24th May 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
KOKOPO businessman Eremas Wartoto was further charged for false pretence for receiving and applying to his own use, the sum of K1.975 million in addition to the existing contract sum of K7.9 million that he received through his company, Sarakolok West Transport Ltd.
The funds were paid for the rehabilitation of Kerevat National High School in East New Britain under the Resi programme.
According to a statement from the Task Force Sweep, most of the funds from the K7.9 million contract were diverted to personal use.
The statement said the variation for the contract was not approved by the relevant authorities, including the Works Department.
Instead, a letter was submitted by Wartoto’s lawyers, Manase and Co Lawyers for the payment to be made, which was approved by the National Planning and Monitoring Department.
The variation brought the total amount of project to K9.875 million.
Task Force Sweep said the incomplete project works resulted in the closure of the school for a year.
It said the government and AusAID allocated extra funds to reopen the school in 2012.
Meanwhile, Wartoto was committed in absentia to stand trial in the National Court this September regarding the initial payment of K7.9 million.