16 Feb 2011

PNG police say corruption swallows half the government budget

4:12 pm on 16 February 2011

Papua New Guinea's acting deputy Commissioner of Police, Fred Yakasa, has called on the people to stand up and stop the fraud that he says is destroying the nation.

Mr Yakasa says PNG loses about half of its government budget directly to fraud every year.

He says this is equivalent to four billion kina, or 1.5 billion US dollars a year going into the hands of corrupt public servants and senior bureaucrats, many of whom invest their gains overseas.

He made the comments at the opening of this week's Proceeds of Crime Workshop in Port Moresby.

Mr Yakasa says PNG has the resources to provide quality health and other infrastructure but criminals are stealing the public money.

He says police also need more resources to combat corruption.