NEC DECISION TO END BLACKOUTS USED FOR POLITICAL ARREST.
Statement by Hon. Peter O’Neill, Leader of the People’s National Congress Party and Member for Ialibu-Pangia.
Sunday 24th May, 2020.
A decision by the Government, approved by the National Executive Council, and approved by Parliament in the Supplementary (Appropriation) Act 2013, to purchase two heavy-duty Power Generators for PNG Power to fix the longstanding blackouts in Lae and Port Moresby is the issue behind the arrest warrant pursued by some members of the police.
The claim is that process was not followed to enable PNG Power to fix this emergency situation regarding the blackouts. We all know that this highly politicized case has been influenced and pushed by dark and shadowy figures behind the scenes wanting to force an arrest.
As such, I have been charged for not following procurement process, however it was Finance Minister James Marape, who signed the instrument exempting that process from needing to occur and authorizing PNG Power to enter into a contract to purchase the generators for 50 million Kina.
If police are truly independent, they should also charge Marape for not following process. The claim against me is based on my writing to Treasury to identify funds for the generators and support PNG Power, which was in accordance with the Supplementary (Appropriation) Act 2013.
This Act of Parliament specifically appropriated the funds for the generators and endorsed the NEC decision which approved the project, and the Government was bound by law to action the Supplementary (Appropriation) Act 2013 and the NEC decision.
I have fully cooperated with the investigations and answered all questions asked, but they have seen fit to lay a charge of abuse of office, misappropriation and official corruption for not following process.
This course of police action is highly unusual, and it is the first time ever in Papua New Guinea for an NEC and Parliament approved project to be used in this manner.
It is important to highlight that there is no charge or claim against me that suggests any personal benefit whatsoever.
I also want to highlight that in contrast to these dark figures and the politicians that control them, I commend the other members of the Police who have discharged their duties professionally while under very difficult political pressure.
I look forward to having my day in Court soon so that the truth can prevail and this injustice corrected and exposed.
Following this, the misuse and manipulation of legal process will need to be fully investigated, and then real charges laid against these dark figures who have misused the legal system for political gain.
Hon. Peter O’Neill, CMG, MP
by PNGi Investigates
THE KING AND HIS LAUNDRY MEN
After the recent passing of Sir Theophilus Constantinou from cancer in September 2019, former PM Peter O’Neill moved swiftly to transfer ownership of his companies and assets from his main trustee and laundryman. One such deal recently surfaced thanks to the care and diligence of Australian journalists.
The $14M mansion at 74 Wolseley Road in Point Piper, which happens to be the most expensive street in Australia, is just one of the many kickbacks O’Neill has received from the multi-billion kina loans and infrastructure projects throughout the country.
It was in 2011 that former PM O’Neill illegally overthrew Sir Michael Somare. Soon after, Peter O’Neill and Sir Theo became the best of buddies and were often seen drinking together in Sir Theo’s private watering hole at the Airways Hotel. It was a match made in money-laundering heaven!
Hebou Construction and Monier fast became amongst the busiest locally owned businesses in the country winning hundreds of millions of kina worth of road and infrastructure contracts.
But Sir Theo was not working alone. His older brother and mentor, Sir Kostas Constantinou, was busy tapping into PNG’s Super Funds and utilised the partnerships to structure a number of very lucrative deals for himself, including the newly opened Loloata Island Resort – a partnership between Lamana Development and Nasfund.
Not surprising, Hebou Construction won the government contract to seal the new four-lane highway, known as Magi Highway, which connects Port Moresby to Loloata’s doorstep at Tahira. The new four-lane highway does not go beyond Loloata’s ferry dock at Tahira.
Think about that for a second! Sir Kostas is also a long-serving director on the Board of Oil Search and used his younger brother’s connection with the former PM O’Neill to influence the UBS loan and purchase of Oil Search shares by the PNG government – a deal that resulted in massive losses for the people of PNG.
Former PM O’Neill also acquired Carson Pratt Construction (formerly Wild Cat Construction) and South West Air from another drinking buddy by the name of Greg Bill. These two companies were awarded millions of kina worth of government contracts.
O’Neill quickly made Sir Theo his trustee while he remained the silent benefactor. The former PM’s grand scheme to borrow billions of kina and award government contracts to cronies such as Global Construction, L&A Construction, China Harbour, China Railway, China Jiangsu International, Borneo Pharmaceuticals, etc., amounted in massive kickbacks which were paid to his trustee Sir Theo’s companies Hebou Construction, Monier, and Insurance PNG Partners Ltd.
O’Neill devised an elaborate transaction to get those monies back to fund his campaigns in the 2017 election. He sold Carson Pratt (Wild Cat Construction) and South West Air to Sir Theo and the laundered K100 million was paid by Sir Theo to Peter O’Neill as sales proceeds for these companies.
The stolen money from the people of PNG was now washed clean and given to former PM O’Neill to use in the national election. O’Neill used the monies to win the 2017 election in a massive landslide victory.
With the rest of the stolen monies still held in trust by Sir Theo, O’Neill set up a company known as iaraguma Ltd and sent Sir Theo on a property shopping spree around PNG acquiring property such as the Invest Well building at Gordons and the Fugui Restaurant building for many tens of millions of kina.
In 2019 Sir Theo’s ill-health became a problem for him and he flew to Sydney for medical treatment. As Sir Theo was slowly dying from cancer, O’Neill was seen frequently flying to Sydney with his lawyer Anthony Latimer trying to claw back his ill-gotten assets which included three companies and the Point Piper mansion.
Sir Theo passed away in September 2019 in Sydney after his battle with cancer, and all three companies that Sir Theo was holding in trust for O’Neill were transferred to Xinhua Wang, the wife of O’Neill’s new bag carrier and laundryman, Chinese businessman, Mr. Meck Luo of China Jiangsu International.
(For more information on Mr. Luo: http://pngicentral.org/…/the-k2-65-million-question…). The rest of Sir Theo’s companies and assets were entrusted to his older brother, Sir Kostas, as Executor of his Estate.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg! We haven’t touched on O’Neill’s purchase of the Crown Plaza Hotel, held in trust, or the awarding of over a dozen large-sized land leases to his company Paradise Breweries Ltd courtesy of his good buddy, the former Lands Minister, Justin Thatchenko. Nor have we touched on the hidden dealings of lover and bag carrier Ni Cragnolini.
So what exactly do our leaders mean by “take back PNG” when the monsters who have stolen it still lurk in the shadows, their business empires unscathed?