29 May 2007

TI in PNG to probe alleged corruption in foreign affairs department

3:57 pm on 29 May 2007

Transparency International Papua New Guinea says it will investigate alleged corruption in the Department of Foreign Affairs involving the sale of citizenship.

Transparency International's secretary in PNG, Richard Kassman, has told the Post Courier newspaper the allegations imply that officers in the department are involved and reportedly get thousands of kina in return.

He says these issues need to be looked into.

Mr Kassman says TI will base its own investigations on allegations from within the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, the foreign affairs department will also carry out an investigation into the allegations.

The foreign secretary, Gabriel Pepson, has said he will recommend the investigation be headed by the Prime Minister's Department.

Last week, the foreign minister, Paul Tiensten, said he was aware of such practices but stated it was not to do with citizenship and passports but with visas.