COMBATING MONEY LAUNDERING A PRIORITY OF MARAPE-STEVEN GOVT.
By Bryan Kramer
It is estimated that Papua New Guinea loses anywhere between K2 to K3 Billion in public funds annually through white collar corruption.
Funds that would normally be expended building classrooms, improving our education system providing better wages and housing for our public service. More importantly funds that would be spent on life saving medical equipment and supplies.
Instead it ends up in the pockets of corrupt government officials and their foreign cronies who aid them in stealing it.
It’s believed up to a billion kina of these funds are channelled to off-shore bank accounts.
Last week I had the privilege to attend a two day International Conference on Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing in Melbourne, Australia.
A annual event attended by upto 164 member states from the around the globe who come together to provide a platform to exchange expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).
PNG is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). APG is a regional body mandated to assist countries in the Asia Pacific region to strengthen their anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regimes.
Each member was afforded the opportunity to provide an intervention (share their views) during the two day conference.
On behalf of the Papua New Guinean delegation which included myself, Acting Commissioner for Police David Manning and PNG’s High Commissioner to Australia, John Kali I thanked the Government of Australia for the invitation to such an important conference.
I also welcomed the opportunity to work with other member countries who are experts in this field to combat money laundering in PNG.
In 2015 Papua New Guinea made the headlines after a program aired on Australian TV exposing how dirty money reaches Australia purportedly laundered through foreign law firms.
A particular law firm was accused of laundering millions on behalf of corrupt PNG Government officials, however soon after the program aired nothing was ever done about it.
In my capacity as Minister for Police under leadership of Marape Steven Government I look forward to now working and learning from international community to find out where Billions of Kina stolen every year end up.
Further still to ensure our law enforcement agencies are well equipped to investigate and prosecute those who have been stealing from our people.
What many aren’t aware of is that my real skill set is not in the legal profession but finance. If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s understanding numbers and tracking them – while words can be used to manipulate, deceive and exaggerate, numbers don’t lie.
picture taken during Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing conference in Melbourne, Australia.