Source: PNGExposed Blog
Prominent PNG lawyer Paul Paraka is accused of being the primary beneficiary of a decade long series of scams in which more than K780 million has been stolen from the people of PNG.
The scams involved lawyers making over 700 false claims for compensation against the State which were then approved for payments by government bureaucrats, including the offices of the Solicitor General and Finance Secretary, without the claims ever being tested in court.
The Commission of Inquiry which has revealed the scams, and which comprised Justices Sheenan and Justice Davani with Don Manua, says in its final report
“The plain conclusion is that in all but a handful of claims the statutory process has been grossly abused allowing illegitimate and improper claims and excess payments and excessive payouts to be legitimized
The Commission also reveals that in four of the six years that it investigated the illegal payments made by the State to settle the fraudulent claims EXCEEDED THE TOTAL BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR THE WHOLE HEALTH SECTOR in PNG.
Paul Paraka was able to profit most from the scams as not only was he responsible for 3 of the largest fraudulent claims, he was paid an additional K41 million by the State between 2003 and 2006 to act on the State’s behalf to deal with claims submitted by other law firms!
In 2007 the government set up a Ministerial Inquiry into the K41 million but the report has never been published as Paraka has a temporary injunction preventing disclosure. On this issue, the Commission noted:
“it is a sad commentary on the Attorney General’s office that it has taken no steps to set aside that temporary order for any number of lawful reasons, but at the least for want of prosecution
The latest Commission of inquiry has recommended a total of 58 people for criminal prosecution including these lawyers:
Paul Paraka, Zacchary Gelu, Francis Damem, Peter Pena, Dan Kakaraya, Francis Kuvi, John Sinaka Goava, Mundua Kua, Joseph B Nanei, Simon Norum, Kumuro Sino, Dawa Agu-Klewaki, Eric Kiso, Daniel Kop, and Jeffery Abone.
As well as the lawyers the Commission of Inquiry was very critical of certain government departments:
“The Department of Finance did not meet its obligations to protect the State and the offices of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General have not advanced and protected the State to an acceptable and competent standard
Follow the link below to download Part I of the Commission of Inquiry report