Yei arrested, charged

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013

 THE head of the Papua New Guinea National Commission for Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) was yesterday arrested and charged over the misuse of public funds, official corruption and abuse of office by the Police Task Force Sweep team in Port Moresby.

Secretary-general Yori Yei was charged with misappropriating K713,811.30 that was entrusted to him by his employer, the Education Department.

The money was for an official trip to Paris, France, for the 36th World Unesco general conference in 2011.

The arrest report alleges Yei had dishonestly applied the funds that were specifically to be used for lobbying to support a Papua New Guinean representative to the Unesco executive post from Oct 17 to Nov 5 for his own use.

Yei, 50, from Laigam district, Enga, is alleged to have deposited the money in two personal accounts, one with Bank South Pacific (K400,000) and the other with Westpac (K200,000).

He is alleged to have used the for his own use between Oct 19 and Dec 31, 2011.  

The allegation that led to the investigation was raised initially by former education minister and now Parliament Speaker Theo Zurenuoc.

Members of the Task Force Sweep team picked up Yei from the sixth floor of the Fincorp Building and took him in for questioning at the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption office on an outstanding warrant of arrest issued by the Waigani Committal Court earlier this year.

At the time, Yei took out a restraining order stopping police from arresting him to give him temporary relief since Jan 6. 

He got a restraining order on the Finance Minister and the appointed acting secretary-general Andrew Angobe in affecting the appointment from the district court. 

Police went to the court house to have the restraining order cancelled to allow for the arrest yesterday. 

After questioning, Yei was taken to the Boroko police station where he was locked up. 

It could not be confirmed whether he was allowed bail but he is expected to appear in the Waigani Committal Court today for mention.