Vanuatu bank account raided in Facebook scam

Posted by PNG Today | May 30, 2016 | Posted in ,

An international scam has not only landed at least four people in Vanuatu out of pocket but raised serious questions about the security of bank accounts.

A conman claiming to be a London businessman used Facebook to approach random Ni-Vanuatu residents of Port Vila offering them work. The only requirement was they bank with ANZ Vanuatu.

The businessman said he needed Vanuatu staff with ANZ accounts so he could receive payments from his South Pacific clients.

Once the "staff" were recruited, they were told to withdraw money being deposited into their accounts and send it on to Malaysia via Western Union. In return, they would receive seven per cent per transaction.

The money never came from South Pacific clients. Instead, it was being sourced from other local ANZ customers who had no idea their accounts were being raided.

One of those to lose money was well-known Vanuatu pilot Matt Erceg whose account was drained of US$9,000 in a single day.

"I felt ANZ had made a transfer error," he told Pasifik News. "When I rang them, they replied that I should file a police complaint."

Erceg has since received half of his money back but says he has been given no indication of when he'll get the remaining funds. "To me, it's a modern day bank robbery," he says.

He doesn't blame the Ni-Vanuatu people recruited by the fraudster. He considers them victims too because they apparently didn't know they were dealing in stolen money.

An online search indicates the con-artist simply used the identity of a man in America who has a separate Facebook profile but with the same name and photo.

What remains unclear is how the money was able to be transferred from one ANZ account to another without the authority of the original account holder. All four victims say they've never given their passwords to anyone.

ANZ has recently warned customers about a hoax email that asks people to confirm their account details, but the victims say they never opened anything suspicious.

The bank's Vanuatu Chief Executive, Charles Rickey, refused to comment on this specific case but confirmed he is aware of increasing threats.

"Bank customers need to be increasingly diligent with their personal account details, as incidences of money transfer scams and other such fraudulent activities appear to be on the rise in Vanuatu and across the region," he said.

He's urged customers to regularly change their internet banking passwords and PINs, starting today.

Vanuatu lawyer Dane Thornburgh believes there may be more than four victims and is recommending other ANZ customers check their accounts, particularly for transactions between late January and early February. If they do find discrepancies, he wants to hear from them as the victims are considering what steps they can take.

Just last week, ANZ in Fiji was charged with breaching the country's Financial Transactions Reporting Act for failing to properly verify customer identities.

The Director of Public Prosecutions says at least two accounts were opened without proper verification.
Acting CEO of ANZ Fiji Saud Minam insists customers are well protected.

"We have taken a lot of steps in terms of protecting our customer data and things that we were exposed to through some of these fraudulent activities. We have been able to fix these in a very short period of time," he told the Fiji Times.


Citizens of nuclear-bombed Marshall Islands yearn for Obama visit

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

As U.S. President Barack Obama visits the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima on Friday, residents of the Marshall Islands — the Pacific nation used by the U.S. as a nuclear test site after World War II — have also begun calling for a similar visit by the leader.

“I question Obama’s trip to Japan. Can he come and visit me as I was there during the Bravo incident and got injured,” said Nerje Joseph, 68, a survivor of the March 1, 1954, Bravo Test on the Marshall Islands’ Bikini Atoll.

That blast has been described as the most powerful of the 67 nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. in the tiny country between 1946 and 1958.

In a recent interview facilitated by the Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders for Humanity-Marshall Islands (REACH-MI), a group focused on the nuclear weapons testing legacy in the islands, Joseph lamented the lack of interest in a trip to the tiny nation.

“The bomb in Hiroshima was smaller than the bomb that affected Rongelap in terms of strength,” Joseph said of the atoll where he once lived. “But why (is Obama visiting) Hiroshima and not the Marshall Islands?”

Obama was to visit Hiroshima after attending the two-day Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture. He is the first sitting U.S. leader to visit the city, which was hit by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. He is not expected to apologise, but will offer his condolences for all war victims. Instead, Obama will likely talk about his push for a world without nuclear weapons.

At least three atomic bomb survivors, including one from Nagasaki, where a second atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S. on Aug. 9, 1945, were expected to be present when Obama lays flowers at the cenotaph in Hiroshima the Peace Memorial Park near ground zero Friday evening.

“I have lost my island, my ocean, my culture,” Joseph said. “I have lost everything about me. Can Obama come and see me? I am like a coconut floating adrift in the ocean with no set course,”

The interview with Joseph, who has been residing in the Marshall Islands’ capital on the main island of Majuro since the mid-1980s, were shared with Kyodo News by REACH-MI.

Eight days before her 6th birthday, Joseph witnessed the nuclear test from her home on Rongelap Atoll, exposing her and her family to radioactive ash. Unaware of the danger, Joseph playfully applied the falling white powder on her body and also consumed food covered with it. Soon, her lips felt numb, and her skin and eyes felt as if they were burning.

Aside from Rongelap, the inhabited atolls of Ailinginae and Utrok also suffered widespread fallout contamination as a result of the Bravo Test.

Two days later, American soldiers, arriving in astronautlike outfits, ordered residents to leave their homes without taking any of their belongings, taking the residents to Kwajalein Atoll.

In a Kyodo News interview two years ago in Majuro, Joseph said that, after the nuclear test, she lived a life she could never have imagined — suffering skin burns and hair loss, both immediate effects of radiation exposure; being displaced from her home. She said she was ridiculed by others for her condition, suffering from thyroid cancer and miscarrying twice while also giving birth to a mentally disabled child.

Rosania Bennett, 45, president of REACH-MI, said by email that if Obama visits the Marshall Islands, he would “see for himself what our nuclear victims go through every single day since 1954 up to now.”

“I wish Obama would spend some time with one of them to have, at least, that humanly connection before they are wiped off from the face of the Earth,” Bennett said.

“A heart-to-heart connection goes a long way,” she added.

Desmond Doulatram, 29, a co-founder and officer of REACH-MI, added that while he is “extremely proud” of Obama’s Hiroshima visit, “showcasing his respect for the Japanese people,” he is “deeply and extremely disheartened that (U.S. leaders) are overlooking the poor island folks in the Marshall Islands.”

Although happy that the U.S. is acknowledging its nuclear legacy in Japan, Doulatram slammed the same lack of a similar acknowledgment by the United States “in their small island developing state.”

Believing that Obama’s Hiroshima trip is “a peace visit,” Lani Kramer, another REACH-MI official, said she views it as Obama’s way of “showing the world the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and that he is a big supporter of a nuclear-free world.”

“He was born in Hawaii. I am sure the attack on Pearl Harbor has affected him deeply as well,” Kramer said, referring to the December 1941 attack by Japan on the U.S. naval base that sparked American entry into World War II.

The U.S. has stood by its position that full and final compensation worth $150 million has been paid to the Marshall Islands, on top of other assistance it has already extended.

With nearly 55,000 people, the Marshall Islands is one of the world’s smallest countries in terms of population and land area.


Must win for Vanuatu in OFC Nations Cup

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

After losing their Group B opener, Vanuatu is hoping to get their 2016 OFC Nations Cup campaign back on track.

Vanuatu, who went down 1-0 to the Solomon Islands in their opening match, will face New Zealand to open Tuesday’s action at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

Vanutau coach Moise Poida couldn’t hide his disappointment following his side’s defeat to their Melanesian rivals.

His players looked comfortable on the ball and created a number of promising opportunities but they lacked cutting edge in the final third.

Poida knows that it will not get any easier against the All Whites, but he believes his side is more than capable of causing an upset.

“We know New Zealand is a better team, they have players from overseas and they have a good game strategy. But I saw their game against Fiji and I think the way they played in that match was not the New Zealand we were thinking of, so I think we can do something.”

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson revealed his relief following his side’s comfortable but scrappy 3-1 win against Fiji.

Admitting that the All Whites weren’t at their best he was still happy with his players' determination to get a result.

The All Whites coach handed debuts to four players - defenders Luke Adams and Kip Colvey, as well as midfielders Monty Patterson and Luka Prelevic against Fiji.

Against Vanutau he will have the option to make some changes to the starting eleven by calling on some of the late arrivals, including Kosta Barbarouses, Marco Rojas, Jeremy Brockie and Michael Boxall.

New Zealand will again go into the match against Vanuatu as clear favourites but Hudson insists his side won’t be taking anything for granted.

“These teams are very dangerous and we saw that last year in the islands. They've got some players that can hurt any team.”

Vanuatu vs. New Zealand
Sir John Guise Stadium
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Tuesday 31 May, 2016
Kick-off: 4pm

Referee: Amos ANIO (PNG)
Assistant Referee 1: Norman BAFINU (PNG)
Assistant Referee 2: John PAREANGA (COK)
Fourth Official: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)


The players: Striker Kensi Tangis looked the most likely to get on the scoresheet against the Solomons. Using his physical strength and mobility, Tangis was a constant threat up front. Captain Fenedy Masauvakalo and midfielder Bong Kalo have also offered attacking options, particularly from set pieces.

The vital statistics: Despite having less possession than the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu had five more goal attempts than their Melanesian rivals. They also had two more shots on target and forced five more corners than the Solomons. Moise Poida will be hoping his players can be more clinical in the front of goal against the All Whites.

Coach Quote:“Our final touch in the final third was a big problem for us against the Solomons. But it's ok we accept it, we still have another two games to go.”

Squad list: 1. Seloni IARUEL (GK), 2. Brian KALTACK, 3. Kevin SHEM, 4. Jason THOMAS, 5. Jacques WANEMUT, 6. Ignace YAMACK, 7. Samuel KALOROS, 8. Remy KALSARAP, 9. Bill NICHOLLS, 10. Dominique FRED, 11. Raoul COULON, 12. Zicka MANUHI, 13. Nemani ROQARA, 14. Bong KALO, 15. Daniel NATOU, 16. Tony KALTACK 17. Jean KALTACK, 18. Fenedy MASAUVAKALO, 19. Kensi TANGIS, 20. Chikau MANSALE (GK), 21. Kaloran FIRIAM (GK), 22. Jacky RUBEN, 23. Don MANSALE

Coach: Moise POIDA (VAN)

New Zealand

The players: Two senior strikers, Rory Fallon and Chris Wood both found the back of the net in New Zealand's win over Fiji. The two veterans have a proven record and they are effective players and leaders on the pitch. The All Whites could be strengthened by senior players Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas, who weren't selected for the match having arrived late into camp.

The vital statistics: The All Whites were forced to share the possession evenly with Fiji in their opening match. Going forward they produced seven shots on target for their three goals, which seems like a decent conversion rate. However Anthony Hudson will be hoping for more clear cut chances to test Vanuatu’s defence.”

Coach Quote: "When you come to these competitions, the conditions are tough to play in. You're never going to come here and have it all your own way.”

Squad list: 1. Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), 2. Kip COLVEY, 3. Mat RIDENTON, I 4, Themistoklis TZIMOPOULOS, 5. Michael BOXALL, 6. Bill TUILOMA, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Michael McGLINCHEY, 9. Chris WOOD, 10. Luka PRELEVIC, 11. Marco ROJAS, 12. Max CROCOMBE (GK), 13. Monty PATTERSON, 14. Rory FALLON, 15. Jeremy BROCKIE, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Luke ADAMAS, 18. Sam BROTHERTON, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 21. Logan ROGERSON, 22, Moses DYER, 23. Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)

Coach: Anthony HUDSON (ENG)


Papua New Guinea reaffirms support for Japan's initiatives at G7 Summit

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

ISE-SHIMA: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has  reaffirmed Papua New Guinea’s support for Japan’s initiatives at the G7 Outreach Meeting.

In addressing the Outreach Meeting of G7 in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) as well as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, PM O’Neill said he focused on quality infrastructure, the global economy, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the need for securing open and secure

seas and the achievement for sustainable development goals (SDG) particularly in health, women and development issue in Africa.

“PNG adopted the SDG’s in 2015 with the National development plans and policies aligned to Vision 2050 & Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2010-2030.

“On the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), PNG is fully aware of its obligations and is making investments in key drivers of the economy, including improvements to these key social indicators,” PM O’Neill said.

He said in recognising and appreciating humanity which is the key focus of the SGDs, he advised that the PNG Government is fostering multi-stakeholder partnership, guided by national ownership and leadership on human rights protection and promotion of this national development agenda.

In reiterating PNG’s stand, PM O’Neill commended Japan for the initiatives and re-assured PNG and the PIF countries’ support for these initiatives as these resonate well with the region’s (Pacific) own efforts towards ensuring security, promoting public health and ensuring of gender inclusiveness.

“Furthermore, at the global level, PNG’s efforts to safeguard and protect human rights are consistent with and guided by international commitments and obligations under several multilateral frameworks, including core human rights instruments,” PM O’Neill said.

During the outreach, PM O’Neill engaged in brief meetings with the Prime Ministers, Matteo Renzi (Italy), Justin Trudeau (Canada) and the Presidents Barrack Obama of USA and Hollande Francois of France.

PM O’Neill also met with leaders from international organizations such as World Bank, IMF, OECD, EU and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Development and deficit budget in PNG

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Commentary by Hon. James Marape, Member  of Tari Pori,

Hi all out there, development takes time, years in fact to evolve. All it takes is stability and consistency in public policies and efforts for development to happen.

Before I expand on this topic of development and deficit budget, may I firstly thank all who have read my previous posts and offered your commentaries. I am the first to admit that I am no expert in subjects I write on which mostly are my opinions skewed towards my point of view. Secondly some of you wrote contrary to my point view and I accepted them as your points respectively.
In this write up, I am going to discuss on development aspirations in Papua New Guinea and why we in the current O'Niel Dion Government have embarked on a 5 budget deficit budget plan since 2012.
In 2012 when we took office, we looked into the 5 years ( what we describe as the medium term; 2012 to 2017) and we estimated that our total revenue will be less then our development and recurrent expenditure cost. Now the question we asked then was do we sit back handicapped with revenue constraints hence not fund free education, free basic health care, our infrastructure plans, our districts and provinces and etc?

We agreed as a government that we will not sit back but we planned successive deficit budgets to ensure our development targets are met. Today almost into the end of our term results are evident and we stand to be judged on our performance.
Ask education department; they will confirm that one million new children are in our school systems because of free education ( mind you we are working on space and quality aspect as we speak). Most education institutions have new buildings as a result of either national government direct funding ( example 4000 new lodging facility at university of PNG), or PSIP and DSIP for provincial and district schools.

Ask health department; if Port Morseby hospital is transformed, if Lae, Hagen, Madang, Kokopo are seeing changes, ask Enga leadership if we have secured funding their Province's 300 million Kina provincial hospital, ask all provincial hospital CEOs if they have been receiving direct funding from national government starting 2012.

Ask works department; of you can now drive from Kimbe to Kokopo ( never done before 2012), they will tell you 3000 kilometers of new road have been sealed, check Kundiawa to Gembolg, Buluminski highway the last 20km is being sealed, sealing taking place from south to north Bouganvillie ( kokobau Buin road), you drive from pom to Kerema on total sealed road, lae city road improvements and of course port morseby roads. Works are happening in most sections of our most economical road, the highlands highway and it is a work in progress.

Ask the National Airports Corporation; who initiated and funded the Port Moresby international airport, the mt Hagen, Hoskins and Goroka terminals, the Aropa airport and terminal or Girua airport as a case in point, ask tourism promotion authority on what is happening at gurney airport in Alotau. Check if Kundiawa and other airports have some small work happening since 2012.
Ask PNG ports; who initiated and funded lae ports, Kieta ports, Kimbe ports, Port Morseby ports, the many small jetties in our coastal areas.

Time and FB space does not permit me to write all that we have undertaken since 2012. All of you PNG citizens come from a district, check your local elected MP for work he or she has done whether as Provincial Governor or District Member.
Contrary to what our oppositions say, on record we as Government directed by our Prime Minister, have given DSIP/PSIP development money equally to all Provinces and Districts including Bulolo. For instance since 2013, 2014 and 2015 we have remitted a total of 30 million kina each to ALL 89 districts in PNG. If nothing is happening in your districts then ask your elected leader at elections, that is your right.

I have post below a picture of a 500 bed and study capacity Technical college and a "3 star type"100 bed hospital my Tari district will soon complete that I had started funding for my district in the last three year as an example of work happening in rural PNG as a result of direct money transfer from national government to sub national government agencies unlike in the past where national governments tries to do all.

All these we were able to do because we deliberately structured plans to enter a series of responsible deficit budgets. If you interested all you have to do is read our 2012 budget documents.
Why deficit budget? Because money available in one year is not enough to meet all our development needs.
Is deficit budget only done in PNG? Ask any Australian economist and they will tell you the first 40 years since the world war 2 ended (1945) they structured deficit budgets. Infact last year 2015, their national Debt to GDP was 213%. Their national history is littered with deficit budgets and their accumulated national debt is way higher then ours which presently sits at 29%.

I am presently reading a book written by "Vern Gowdie" published in 2015 and he writes that the most established economies are in huge national debt incurred over many years. For instance Japan 400%, USA 233%, China 217%, Singapore 382%, Philippines 116%, Vietnam 140%, Indonesia 88% to name few countries that we in PNG are familiar with. These countries build their nation and economies by transferring national debt into improving their economy and country in general. Don't listen to glass house economist who wants us to individually remain below poverty lines.

The roads, ports, airports, schools, health and other interventions are national assets acquired through sustainable deficit financing to grow our economy for our children's future.
For us in PNG, in the last four years our debt remains sustainable low and at amounts below 35 percent as required by our fiscal responsibility act. In fact with revised figures in our economic base released recently both by our central bank and national statistical office, our debt to GDP stands at 29 percent.
May I encourage every one out there that we in government are concern about our country just as much as you all concern. We doing our utmost best within confines of constraints we currently faced with, like the 70 % slash in national revenue ( 2014/2015/2016) both from drought related non production at Oktedi and the drop in global oil prices.

If you think that we not doing well leading this country, then in 2017, you have every right to remove the mandate majority of you, our voters gave us in 2012. But for now we will complete the few development tasks we have left to do for this term, including upgrade and sealing completion of untouched sections of the highlands highways like Halimbu to Komo, and Halimbu to Kelabo.
My next post will be on you, citizens and the importance of your constitutional section 50 rights, rights to vote leaders at elections.

Keep in touch. We have many international visitors, head of states, leaders of public services, businesses leaders, sports ( international soccer and cricket). Let's not talk ourselves down all time , see in the positive always.

Photo caption: This photo shows my district's hospital and Technical school campus that we are putting final touches now, an example of DSIP at work.

The writer is a Member of Parliament representing the people of Tari Pori in Hela Province. 

Students from the University of Technology attacked along Highlands Highway

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Reports of Unitech students been attacked along the Okuk Highway has been confirmed but it is still unclear who attacked them.

Vice President of Unitech SRC, Mr Robert Kerenga confirmed today that a group of students from Simbu province who set out to conduct awareness in Kundiawa were open fired at between Kainantu and Kompri Valley in EHP last Friday while travelling back to Lae.
“Fortunately for the Students no one was hurt or injured in the incident but we are still not sure who open fired at them,” said Mr Kerenga.
Mr Kerenga adds that despite of all these, the Unitech students stand united as one and will not back down from their stand to continue their boycott until they get a favourable response from the PM Peter O’Neill.
He also noted that there were some rumours regarding the sidelining of Unitech Chancellor, Sir Nagora Bogan, which he said were false rumours and nothing has change with the School Administration.
Meanwhile, a forum was conducted today with students that went out to do awareness from respective provinces, presented their report to the SRC and the student body. PNGFM / PNG Today

Parking TFF infrastructure component with DSIP education infrastructure funding would take time

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Tying the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) infrastructure component to the District Development Authorities education infrastructure funding component would take time to materialize, explains the Minister for Education Nick Kuman.
Minister Kuman said through the TFF policy Cabinet had endorsed that partnership arrangement decision in December 2015, and up until now, it is not been implemented as the mechanisms are not been finalized yet.

Mr Kuman said the partnership arrangement allows for 30% of TFF infrastructure component to be put into a trust account together with the 20% education infrastructure component of District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) manages by the DDA.
He said this arrangement will not take immediate effect until all arrangements with the Departments of Finance and Treasury are in place to establish the accounting mechanism in the districts.
“Through that partnership, the schools can nominate for a classroom or teacher house to build. The education sector infrastructure funding component held in a trust account in the district can then be used to build a good double classroom or a teacher house for nominated schools.
“We have not yet implemented that decision until the structures are put together and finalized and we will inform the country as to when it will happen.

“But I don’t anticipate this would happen quickly, it would take time,” he added.
He said the arrangement is to ensure some of those money used for infrastructure development must remain so that there must be overall visibility of the use of the money.
Mr Kuman also mentioned that the Department of Education is also putting the structure together to ensure that there will be an overseeing body at the provincial and district levels to monitor the use of this money.
“These things are now being worked out through the departments of Finance and Treasure to set the accounts in the districts but, as far as the disbursement of term one TFF is concern we have not held back those money.”
“My direction to the Department of Education is to pay everything which is supposed to be paid until those mechanisms is put in place then we channel the money for infrastructure component to the districts to partner with the DSIP."

PNG Technology


Computer Support

Subscribe to Daily News

Enter your email address:

Delivered by PNG Today

© 2015 PNG Today . Powered by Blogger.