22 Feb 2005

PNG police minister urges his officers to come clean over corruption claims

4:13 pm on 22 February 2005

Papua New Guinea's Police Minister has urged police to come clean and take advantage of a proposed amnesty following reports Chinese mafia gangs had corrupted senior officers.

Bire Kimisopa says he might also consider taking disciplinary procedures out of the hands of the police force by setting up a new Police Complaints Tribunal akin to a standing commission of inquiry.

His comments follow a report in Melbourne's The Age newspaper that Chinese mafia groups had infiltrated and corrupted the highest levels of PNG's police force.

Mr Kimisopa says the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Departments have to shoulder some of the blame for allowing such foreigners into the country without valid passports and visas.

He says corrupt police officers should come clean to take advantage of the proposed amnesty contained in police review recommendations to be tabled in parliament.

Mr Kimisopa says the allegations in the newspaper article were based on an out-of-date report.

But, the minister says corruption could be expected in a force which is operating with limited funds.