14 Jul 2008

PNG govt under pressure to investigate corruption allegations

8:51 pm on 14 July 2008

Papua New Guinea's deputy opposition leader says the government cannot remain silent over alarming allegations of corruption against a senior minister.

Pressure is growing on the government to investigate allegations that a government minister has taken 40 million US dollars from logging deals.

The paper, The Post Courier, reported the money is being kept in two Singapore accounts and managed by a consortium for the unnamed minister, who allegedly took 2.1 per cent on every log exported from the country since 2002.

A public petition calling on the Prime Minister to take action on this matter is currently in circulation.

Bart Philemon says while there should be no way the government can ignore this, it appears to be doing so.

"The government has been reluctant to deal directly with a lot of these issues. Like any other issues that have come up, it would appear that the government takes a non-active involvement in trying to find out whether there's substance to some of these allegations or not."

PNG's deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon