MP calls for probe into APEC luxury cars scandal

The Member for Moresby North-West and former prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, has written to the Ombudsman Commission and fraud squad calling for inquiries into the APEC luxury cars scandal.

“Enough public information, gathered by myself and others, is now available to justify high-level investigations into the spending by the Prime Minister, Mr Peter O’Neill, the APEC Minister, Mr Justin Tkatchenko, and the APEC Authority CEO, Mr Christopher Hawkins,” Sir Mekere said in a statement today.

“This information indicates a strong likelihood that the Leadership Code, the Constitution, the Criminal Code and other laws have been broken.

“About K33 million in taxpayers’ money appears to have been spent on luxury cars without due process being followed. The people of Papua New Guinea have a right to know what happened to this money.

“There has been no explanation by Mr O’Neill, Mr Tkatchenko and Mr Hawkins despite repeated public requests. The only option now is for full investigations.

“The seriousness of the potential illegal conduct also justified a wider inquiry into APEC spending, estimated to be K3 billion by the World Bank based on O’Neill Government advice.

“If the illegalities of the luxury cars’ spending are replicated across other APEC spending, then we have corruption as bad as any seen in the world in the past few years.

“I urge the Ombudsman Commission and the fraud squad to undertake these investigations as a matter of great urgency. The nation deserves nothing less.”

In a letter addressed to Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick and National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Director, Matthew Damaru, Sir Mekere expressed his “deep concern that the Leadership Code and other laws have been broken in the recent APEC vehicle transactions by the State and the APEC Authority and, in the public interest, to request urgent investigations into those and other transactions”.

Sir Mekere’s letter to the Ombudsman Commission and the Fraud Squad and supporting documentation, hand-delivered last Friday, can be downloaded here:

(Filepic – Member for Moresby North-West and former prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta)

Press release