PNG police minister says officers being probed for gun-smuggling, fraud

Smuggled PNG weapons
Weapons and ammunition smuggled into Papua New Guinea from Indonesia. Image: Pacific Scoop file

By Clifford Faiparik in Port Moresby

Retired and serving police officers in Papua New Guinea are being investigated for alleged offences such as gun-smuggling, fraud and theft, according to Police Minister Bryan Kramer.

It includes “massive corruption at the police headquarters in Port Moresby by retired and serving senior police officers”.

“Cases now under investigation are the smuggling of firearms, land/housing fraud, payroll fraud, drugs, fuel theft, insurance scam, stealing from the retired officers’ pension fund and misusing police allowances,” Kramer said.

“Investigations are halfway complete in most of the cases.

“Arrests will be done at the completion of the investigations.”

Kramer said the “massive corruption” at police headquarters in Konedobu was done during the term of the previous government led by former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Kramer said the police force, once described as a national pride, had been “reduced to a private security business serving corrupt politicians and dodgy foreign businessmen”.

Weapons on-sold to province
Meanwhile, a source at police headquarters said detectives were struggling with the investigations into the smuggling of guns allegations because the suspects were retired senior police officers.

PNG’s Police Minister Bryan Kramer…PNG police “reduced to a private security business serving corrupt politicians and dodgy foreign businessmen” under the previous government. Image: Kramer Report

“These retired senior officers purchased firearms for the police force and brought them into the country,” the source said.

“However, the firearms were then smuggled out of Port Moresby to another province by a private security company.”

Clifford Faiparik is a reporter for The National newspaper in Papua New Guinea. The Pacific Media Centre republishes National articles with permission.

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