Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (30 March 2019): PNG, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu

PNG:

First Youth Against Corruption Forum. Youth Against Corruption Association (YACA) held its first Youth Forum of the year on March 23rd.

http://www.looppng.com/png-news/first-youth-against-corruption-forum-83334

Catholic Bishops in PNG criticize O'Neill Govt over corruption. Catholic bishops in Papua New Guinea have criticized the O'Neill government for failing to take action on corruption and for what they call is general incompetence.

https://www.onepng.com/2019/03/catholic-bshops-in-png-criticize-oneill.html

PNG shakedown: Home Affairs contractor asked for $8 million political donation. An Australian Government contractor on Manus Island was asked by a senior Papua New Guinea official in 2017 for a multi-million-dollar donation to the ruling party of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/png-shakedown-home-affairs-contractor-asked-for-8-million-political-donation-20190322-p516j7.html

Corruption seen as ‘serious’ threat. Corruption is the area of focus for the financial analysis and supervision unit (Fasu) of the Bank of PNG, says director Benny Popoitai.

https://www.thenational.com.pg/corruption-seen-as-serious-threat/

Up to K4.4bn laundered in PNG. The possible level of money laundering in Papua New Guinea could be in the range of K1.8 billion (US$533 million) and K4.4 billion (US$1.3 billion) based on the country's GDP of nearly K90 billion (US$26 billion).

https://news.pngfacts.com/2019/03/up-to-k44bn-laundered-in-png.html

PNG’s Paraka in mood for revenge after charges dropped. A Papua New Guinea lawyer will pursue legal action against anti-fraud detectives and officials who brought dozens of fraud-related charges against him.

https://herdongazette.com/pngs-paraka-in-mood-for-revenge-after-charges-dropped/324469/

 

FIJI:

Iferemi Vasu, Peniasi Kunatuba Trial Set For July. The two appeared before Justice Riyaz Hamza. They deny one charge of abuse of office by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/03/26/iferemi-vasu-peniasi-kunatuba-trial-set-for-july/

Trio facing fraud, money laundering, charges to make plea in May. Three accused persons facing charges of fraudulent falsification of account and money laundering appeared at the High Court in Suva.

https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/03/26/trio-facing-fraud-money-laundering-charges-to-make-plea-in-may/

 

TONGA:

Tonga's King orders investigations into government. Tonga's King Tupou VI has referred three petitions criticising the government to the ombudsman, the attorney general and the police commissioner.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/385572/tonga-s-king-orders-investigations-into-government

PM welcomes investigation into his administration. The Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva expressed relief that King Tupou VI did not dissolve the Tonga Legislative Assembly and call for new elections again, as requested by Petitioners.

https://matangitonga.to/2019/03/27/pm-welcomes-investigation-his-administration

 

VANUATU:

Watchdog urges Vanuatu president against pardons. Transparency International Vanuatu has urged the country's president not to pardon former members of parliament convicted for corruption.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/385565/watchdog-urges-vanuatu-president-against-pardons

Transparency International Vanuatu against pardoning former MPs. Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) says it will be a backward step for Vanuatu if the former members of parliament that were convicted in 2015 are pardoned.

https://news.pngfacts.com/2019/03/transparency-international-vanuatu.html

  

To know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact the team members:

Annika Wythes, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC, annika.wythes@un.org

Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist - Pacific, UNDP, mihaela.stojkoska@undp.org

Maria Lee, Peace & Development Administrative Assistant, UNDP/UNODC, maria.lee@undp.org

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