A prominent Australian lawyer, Greg Sheppard, has been arrested by Papua New Guinean police and is facing a range of fraud charges.
Sheppard, a principal of Young & Williams Lawyers, was arrested on Tuesday in Port Moresby.
He was charged with two counts of misappropriation and another two counts of money laundering.
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Police say the charges relate to Sheppard’s alleged involvement in the transfer of funds amounting to US$14.5 million (52 million kina) in 2018.
These funds were part of the US$75 million (K268 million) that were unlawfully withdrawn from a trust fund established to finance development projects in PNG’s Western province, the Western Province People’s Dividends Trust Account.
Sheppard, 65, was previously arrested and charged by PNG police in January in relation to the same criminal investigation.
At the time he was charged with two counts of conspiracy and another two counts of false pretence.
So far, the defendant has been charged with a total of eight offences.
Sheppard has done extensive work in PNG over recent years, recently representing the country’s former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Opposition Leader Belden Namah among other prominent leaders.
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.