Former banker stands trial for money laundering

A former employer of a commercial bank will stand trial at the Waigani National Court and answer to allegations of laundering money that belonged to the account of a deceased man.

Charged with one count each of stealing, conspiring with others to defraud and money laundering, the Committal Court has found sufficient evidence against Jacob Kom of Nondugl village, North Waghi district in Jiwaka Province.

Magistrate John Kaumi in his ruling found there was sufficient evidence Kom abused his position and responsibility in his former role as someone who manages customers’ bank accounts.

It is alleged that Kom, between the periods of Aug 29, 2013 and Oct 23, 2015, whilst being an employer of the ANZ Bank, knowingly uplifted the stop payment on a deceased customer’s account.

It is alleged he forwarded an email to his colleague linking the alleged account of the deceased on Sept 10, 2013, and started transferring monies to five other personal accounts, totaling K45,313.

Kom allegedly also benefitted from the proceeds of the transaction. He later lost his job following internal investigations by the bank.

He was apprehended by police on May 25, 2015, where he was arrested and charged.

“I find that there is sufficient prime facie evidence on the essential element of the charge of money laundering contrary to section 34(2)(a) of the Crimes of Proceeds Act. There is sufficient prima facie that the defendant abused his position of trust and responsibility,” Magistrate Kaumi said in his ruling.

Sally Pokiton