27 May 2009

PNG opposition accuses PM of corruption over immigration deals

9:27 pm on 27 May 2009

The Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, has accused the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, of corruption over his failure to control questionable activities within Foreign Affairs.

Sir Michael said earlier this week, after two weeks riots and looting directed at recent Chinese arrivals in PNG, that some immigration officials asked for gifts before they processed visas and passports.

He has ordered the Foreign Minister, Sam Abal, to clean up the Immigration Department and replace corrupt officers.

Sir Mekere says it's unbecoming and embarrassing for the Prime Minister to admit knowledge of corruption in the Immigration Division and not to have done anything about it in the seven years he has been running the country.

He says if the Prime Minister is serious about the problems involving the issuing of passports and renewals he should have taken action then and not waited until a series of riots around the country to announce a crackdown.