Man in court over alleged K600,000 fraud

The Waigani District Court has reviewed bail amount for a man facing allegations he conspired to defraud a lodge in Port Moresby of more than K600,000 cash.

Murray Willie of Warakum in the Western Highlands Province appeared before Magistrate Cosmas Bidar today after police arrested and laid specific charges against him.

Willie was previously arrested and released on K500 bail for defrauding a lodge owner of K600,000, however he was arrested and charged  for the second time on specific charges.

He was charged for 17 counts of false pretence, 17 counts of conspiracy to defraud the owner of a lodge, three counts of forgery and one count of impersonation.

Magistrate Cosmas Bidar after reading the specific charges against him reviewed the bail amount to what he described as a reasonable amount to the money he allegedly defrauded the lodge owner of.

He said an amount of K4, 500 is reasonable for Willie if he wishes to be released on bail.

It is alleged that between Aug 8 and Oct 2, 2015 in Port Moresby, Willie, while in the company of others, by false pretence presented fake cheques to Mose Kapioto, the owner of a lodge pretending to be employees of the Department  of National Planning.

It is alleged that on 17 different occasions between these dates, Willie and others presented fake cheques with amounts of K55,000 and K1.9 million respectively to Mose Kopioto’s lodge and defrauded him off a total of K628,000 cash.

Willie and three others are also alleged to have forged signatures of the fake cheques and impersonated employees of the Department of National Planning.

When asked by the court where he worked, Willie said he was a self-employed businessman and not an employee of National Planning.

His accomplices have also been arrested in relations to the same allegations.

He returns to court on Feb 26.

Sally Pokiton