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PNG Police await results of internal investigations into Horizon Oil petroleum license

The Papua New Guinea  Department of Petroleum and Energy are still investigating the petroleum license issued to Horizon Oil in 2011 under the state Minister William Duma who was the then Minister for Petroleum and Energy.

The investigation is to establish if proper procedures and processes were followed at the time the license was issued.

This investigation follows a report published in the Australia Financial Review last week about a nine-year-old payment of $US10.3 million ($15.4 million) by Horizon Oil to an unknown shell company in Papua New Guinea.

According to the AFR the nine year payment is threatening to derail the Australian-listed Horizon Oil, after it repeatedly ignored corruption warnings.

The Australian Financial Review reported Horizon Chairman Mike Harding is under pressure to investigate corruption allegations in PNG.

However Duma, who is now the minister for Commerce says the transaction that is being discussed was made between two companies and no PNG money was involved.

Duma says he has not broken any laws and has in no way acted outside of what the Petroleum and Energy Advisory Board advised when he was minister for Petroleum and Energy in 2011.

Police Minister Byran Kramer told FM100 News that the police are awaiting results from the internal investigation carried out by the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

Transparency International PNG urges Prime Minister James Marape to live by his words that he will fight corruption and that the example must now start with his own cabinet.

TIPNG Chairman, Peter Aitsi, says TIPNG now maintains the same call to Prime Minister Marape that the Minister at the centre of this report must be directed to step down and a proper independent investigation into the allegations must be undertaken immediately.

He says given the transaction involved US dollars and an Australian listed company, there is prospect for the PNG Police and anti-corruption agencies to work closely with the Australian Federal Police, the US Securities Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice to investigate the evidence exposed by the Australia Financial Review.

FM 100/PNG Today

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