14 Nov 2003

PNG government confident it has eliminated corrupt immigration officials

4:43 pm on 14 November 2003

The Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, says he is confident that measures being put in place will end corrupt practices in the Immigration Department.

Sir Rabbie told Parliament this week that a special investigation launched two years ago showed corrupt PNG immigration officials had sold passports or organised visas for syndicates smuggling foreigners into countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Sir Rabbie says they believe around 50 foreigners were smuggled through PNG over a five year period.

He says the corrupt officials in his Department have been dealt with, while new systems put in place should quickly identify people involved in similar scams in future.

"We have improved our information system, our computer system and database. We have also reviewed certain administrative measures within the department, and we are in the process of overhauling our whole legislation in relation to migration, citizenship and passport issuance."