PNG fraud squad still locked out despite court ruling

6:55 pm on 25 April 2016

Papua New Guinea's police fraud squad remains unable to access its office and files amid a standoff over a major fraud case.

The police commissioner Gary Baki last week suspended the head of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, Matthew Damaru, and several colleagues for insubordination and alleged breaches.

This came after the fraud squad made several high profile arrests, probing the prime minister Peter O'Neill's role in alleged illegal state payments to a law firm.

Mr Damaru challenged Mr Baki's move in the court which subsequently ordered a stay on the suspension, allowing the fraud squad to resume its work.

However he said officers loyal the police commissioner continue to blockade their headquarters.

"And we've been locked outside, we can't do anything. All the files and everything are all locked up. We are just hanging around outside the office and out on the street, basically doing nothing," he said.

"We are told to provide reports and everything, but we can't while the office is locked."

The police commissioner's move to suspend the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate personnel returns to court next month.

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