2 Jul 2008

PNG minister kickback account in Singapore, claims paper

1:35 pm on 2 July 2008

Media in Papua New Guinea claim a government minister has a Singapore bank account containing about 40 million US dollars skimmed off the country's log exports.

The Post Courier newspaper says the money is a percentage of every log exported from PNG, in a deal struck several years ago.

The paper says the money goes into this private account in exchange for logging deals in PNG from several loggers operating in the country.

The paper says two Government officials claim that while most of the money belongs to one MP, some is shared with other Government MPs.

They say the scheme has the backing of an Asian multi-millionaire businessman.

The Government officials say the bank accounts must be investigated and an explanation sought because the money rightfully belongs to the people of PNG.