17 Jun 2004

Ex-PNG Gaming Board chairman could face long jail term

4:11 pm on 17 June 2004

Papua New Guinea's National Court has found the former chairman of the National Gaming Control Board, Daniel Mapiria, guilty of misappropriating 1 million US dollars belonging to the board.

The verdict, which Justice Panuel Mogish handed down yesterday, could result in a long jail term for Mr Mapiria.

Justice Mogish found that Mr Mapiria had dishonestly used state money between September 1998 and July 1999.

As chairman of the NGCB during that time, Mr Mapiria was one of three signatories to two cheque accounts operated by the board with Bank South Pacific.

The judge found that Mr Mapiria drew 41 cash cheques from the National Government Trust Account, and had these cheques endorsed as payable in cash by his own signature and that of then NGCB registrar Paul Aisa.

The other signatory was the then Finance and Administration manager Lawrence Aufamau.

Mr Aisa was also charged with misappropriation of funds belonging to the NGCB but was acquitted by the same court earlier this year.