Another successful ITFS case

Another man who was the subject of investigations by the Investigation Task Force Sweep Team has been convicted by the Waigani National Court for misappropriating K5.3 million.

Justice Panuel Mogish today found David Kumalau Pondros guilty of dishonestly applying to his own use and the use of others K5, 317, 375.16, money belonging to the Independent state of Papua New Guinea.

Chairman of the Investigation Task Force Sweep Team, Sam Koim and Director of National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Matthew Damaru were among those present in court today for the verdict.

Pondros is the Managing Director of David Consultants and Associates Ltd.

 Between October 1, 2008 and October 31, 2010, he submitted a proposal for a Coconut Integration Facility project to be built in the Tol area of the Pomio District in East New Britain.

The proposal was submitted to then National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten on 30 October 2008.

It was approved and a letter was written by the Minister on April 16, 2009 advising his Secretary Joseph Lelang that funding was approved for a feasibility study to take place.

The first payment of K500, 000 was paid on 22 April 2009 for the feasibility study. On November 13, 2009 the second payment of K2.5 million was made and a further K3 million was paid on 22 June 2010.

From the sum of K6 million, the court found that only K682, 624.84 was used to purchase building materials which were left at the Rabaul Wharf.

Justice Mogish said no satisfactory explanation was given to account for the balance of K5, 317, 375.16 apart from the overwhelming evidence from state witnesses in the Tol area of Pomio that they did not see any Coconut Integrated project.

“The unavoidable conclusion must be that these monies were dishonestly applied to the use of the accused and others, and unrelated to the Pomio Integrated Coconut Project.

“I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the state has established the guilt and I find him guilty to dishonestly applying to his use and the use of others K5, 317, 375.16,” Justice Mogish added.

Pondros will return to court on May 8 where submissions will be made on his penalty sentence.

He is currently serving a jail term of five years for a different case involving the misappropriation of K400,000.

The monies were paid for the purpose of conducting feasibility studies for the construction of jetties along the cost of Ijivitari. 

MV Karimina, a vessel purchased by former Ijivitari MP the late Cecil King Doruba was to service the area from these jetties.