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PNG Opposition calls for Investigations into abuse of Australia's Tax payers' money

Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader Joseph Lelang is calling for investigations into the allegations on the massive abuse of Australian tax payers’ money earmarked for refugee upkept in Papua New Guinea under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRA).

Mr. Lelang said these serious allegations publicly raised by ‘Whistle Blowers’ are obviously senior officers in PNG Immigrations and Citizenship Service Authority (PNGICA) because the issues raised are not isolated.

He said he was aware that the Australian Newspaper ‘The Guardian’ has already published the story in Australia however, the Australian Home Affairs have remained tight lipped given the code of secrecy in the RRA program.

However, the allegations raise issues that the money from Australia was channeled into a trust account created without approval by the Immigration Board and without the knowledge of the Minister.

“Allegations of selected service providers inflated invoices with exorbitant amounts to the administrator of the trust accounts and siphoning funds under the disguise of providing services to refugees.

Allegations by most of the refugees and many extensively reported in the media expressing concerns that the services provided were nil or limited and with one refugee reported saying, “It is like a K1 salt is invoiced at K100” are serious issues that must be investigated,” Mr. Lelang said.

Mr. Lelang said according to the allegations reported some prominent people in the business sector including politicians were featured in the trust account.

“More allegations revealing the same people in the trust account are again setting up companies as service providers and siphoning the RRA funds is shocking,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said the investigations Terms of Reference must be extended to cover issuance on contracts for construction of Asylum Centre’s linked to Asian fugitives and politicians linked to illegal drugs and recent security contract to manage the Immigration Refugees detention centre at Bomana.

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