Fifty-nine-year-old Kenneth James West from Brisbane, Australia, was arrested and charged with one count of false pretense and another count of misappropriation – both under the Criminal Code Act.
According to court documents, the complainant, Mark Roland of Packit Industrial Packaging, made agreements for the accused to buy alluvial gold in PNG and export to Australia on a monthly basis.
Police alleged that the complainant was expecting gold in return for his K800,000 investment but did not receive anything in February and March.
Hence he registered a formal complaint on the 13th of November and the accused was cautioned, arrested and charged, and later released on a K2,000 bail.
The accused was scheduled to make his first court appearance on November 19th at the Waigani District court but failed to turn up.
The magistrate adjourned the matter to November 26 to allow West to take note of his court dates.
The accused’s appearance on the 26th will be his first court appearance, thereby giving the police three months to investigate the matter.
If there is enough evidence, the matter will proceed to the National Court; if not, it will be tossed out by the District Court. At this stage, the facts of the case are just allegations against the accused.
(Article by Jasmine Iru - third year UPNG Journalism student)