All fraud officers will now be working in crimes directorate

Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru and all his fraud officers will be reporting for duty starting tomorrow at the crimes directorate following the police commissioner’s direction to close the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki tells Loop PNG that these officers are all members of the constabulary and will be treated as such.

He says they must all report for duty, adding that there is no leave, no absence from duty and if they do not report for duty then they will be charged accordingly.

Baki says he cannot afford to have officers running around.

The purpose of the office is to investigate fraud matters but they are still part and parcel of the Royal PNG Constabulary and as such, they do not have the mandate to operate out of the context of the command and control of the police force.

He says Damaru is accountable to the assistant commissioner of crimes who is then accountable to the deputy commissioner, who in turn informs the commissioner of the operations that take place in the office.

The issue, Baki says, is that Damaru does not follow the chain of command in terms of this reporting process.

This amounts to complete defiance of the set procedures and processes of reporting.

For now Baki reiterates that despite public opinion, it is not about a hidden agenda.

The matter on hand is about protecting the integrity of the office of the police commissioner as well as maintaining command and control of the rank and file.

Julianna Waeda