11 Oct 2004

PNG tax commission head says resolve against illegal gaming machine movement even stronger now

9:34 pm on 11 October 2004

The Commissioner-General of Papua New Guinea's Internal Revenue says murder attempts on his departments officials have only served to strengthen their resolve in the fight against illegal gaming machines.

David Sode was responding after Port Moresby police foiled an attempt to murder senior tax officials earlier this month.

Mr Sode says police stumbled across a Triad conspiracy in a Chinese restaurant in the PNG capital and were able to alert the tax officials to the danger.

He says the purported reason behind the plot was to hit back at the Commission for trying to clamp down on gaming machine syndicates in PNG.

"It makes the resolve even tougher because, you know, when you take a foreigner attempting to murder people who actually live and are born in this country - and belongs to them, it doesn't even belong to those blokes. It hardens officials here when you have that sort of attack. If the officials here were aliens in another country in that sort of thing, then that's understandable. But not when you're on your home turf, no. I think emotionally and psychologically it just helps the cause to get rid of them."

David Sode says security around his officers has been stepped up, and they are ready to "respond in kind" to any future threat.