Over 5000 suspects implicated in money laundering in Papua New Guinea will be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to be arrested and charged under Anti Money Laundering Act, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Over 5000 Anti-Money Laundering Suspects, Yet None Have Been Prosecuted Under Anti-Money Laundering Law in Papua New Guinea
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
Over 5000 suspects implicated in money laundering will be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to be arrested and charged under Anti Money Laundering Act, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Mr Marape was shocked to learn from Bank of Papua New Guinea acting Governor Benny Popoitai that police have failed to investigate and prosecute these high profile suspects for allegedly breaching the Anti money Laundering Act. He vowed that when the ICAC has been established these suspects will be arrested, investigated and will be prosecute successfully.
Mr Popoitai who is also the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU) Director said during the 11th National Parliament Induction that FASU was established in 2008. “FASU is PNG’s Financial Intelligence Unit.
And we oversee what the Government Departments do and have collected and analyzed financial transaction from these Departments. We have provided information of over 5000 suspects implicated in money laundering. But we have a real issue. We have not prosecuted anyone under this Anti Money Laundering law”.
Mr Popoitai said that “the Bank PNG or FASU is an intelligence organization. They get the information and do their analyses’s and find that if there is a case for leaders to be prosecuted we send it to Ombudsman Commission. Others go to the Police.
If it is a tax mater it goes to Internal Revenue Commission, if its customs it goes to Customs. The issue is we don’t have prosecution powers. So we are just an intelligence organization.
We only send the information to the law enforcement Agencies to enforce. So for yourself (119 MPs), we call you in money laundering term Politician Exposed Person (PEP). You, your staff and family are PEP. Because your conduct in business is important to us.
It is the way we protect the PNG economy. So that we don’t become a fail state”.
Mr Popoitai said that PNG join the rest of the world in 2008 as a result Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) reviewed our Anti Money Laundering regime.
And when they found out that we were vulnerable for money laundering activities they blacklisted us in 2014. So we worked hard to improve on our regime and we have got out of the grey list and now they will visit us in March next year and if we are not ready, they will black list us again.
And international investors doing business with PNG will be tougher. That is because the correspondence of the international bank relationship with our banks will not be trustworthy”.