11 Jan 2006

Self-declared King of Bougainville claims far-reaching financial support

6:18 pm on 11 January 2006

The man claiming to be King of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville says he has widespread support for his investment scheme.

Noah Musingku has hired foreign ex-soldiers as security guards for a bank based in Tonu.

The five Fijians have sparked a regional crisis by giving military training in the area which is controlled by rebels who retain firearms in spite of the peace process.

Mr Musingku is wanted for fraud in Papua New Guinea and in Solomon Islands, but he says people worldwide are still interested in his scheme.

"We have set up a universal system, with its headquarters here on Bougainville. We have investors all over the world, in Papua New Guinea, in Solomon Islands, in Vanuatu, in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, all over the world. England, America, we have investors all over the world."

Mr Musingku urges his critics to visit him and see the situation on the ground.

90 per cent, or 85 to 90 per cent of the population are with me. Only a few people, about ten per cent, are with the autonomous government and PNG.