He made this statement in response to Madang Governor Peter Yama’s comment that Madang police could have dealt with the re-arrest of the eight individuals implicated in the misappropriation of monies belonging to the Manam Resettlement Authority.
Eight officials – four from the Madang Provincial Administration and another four from the Madang Provincial Government’s business arm, Ramu Development Foundation – were recently re-arrested and charged for conspiring to defraud the State of K6 million.
“We’ve got police in Madang but I am the divisional commander and I have control over police operations in Madang, Eastern Highlands Province, Lae metropolitan command and Morobe Provincial Command,” stated ACP Guinness.
He described the case as a longstanding one from 2017 when K20 million, under the government’s Public Investment Program, was disbursed to the Manam Resettlement Authority.
It was alleged that without following due process, K6 million was diverted to the Ramu Development Foundation.
The first arrest was carried out by the fraud squad in November 2020, where the case was dismissed in the Madang District Court.
The second arrest was processed at the Ramu District Court, where Yama says it is currently stayed.
Tuesday’s arrest makes it the third one for those implicated.
ACP Guinness said police were not restrained from pursuing investigations.
“Evidence was not presented in court, police has right to re-arrest and pursue investigations,” stated Guinness.
Since the suspects were charged with conspiracy to defraud the state, a warrant of arrest was issued by the Ramu District Court.
“Serious allegations and suspicions are centred around this case,” continued the ACP.
“If people are defensive, they could be implicated.
“Visit Manam and the care centres, what benefits are there on ground?
“In my authority as ACP, I will make sure that every person implicated, where evidence permits, they will be arrested and charged.”
Guinness said the four individuals from the Ramu Development Foundation will be further charged with fraud relating to 19 cheques.