Foreigner arrested for allegedly attempting to bribe police

A Chinese national was arrested and charged last week for attempting to bribe a police detective involved in an ongoing investigation into human trafficking, uttering of government documents and other related transnational crimes.

The suspect, namely Zhiyuan Cui, also known as Aaron, of Shandon Province, China, and managing director of A & D Consultancy Limited, allegedly offered K10,000 cash to the Officer in Charge of the Gordon’s Police Station minor crimes unit in the National Capital District, Senior Sergeant Apollos Terry.

Police alleged that the bribe was offered as an inducement for police to stop the ongoing investigation and to release confiscated documents and items back to Zhiyuan’s custody.

However, Senior Sergeant Terry referred the matter to police detectives who arrested Zhiyuan and charged him with offering bribe to a government official. He was locked up at the Boroko cells and later released on a K1,500 court bail.

Zhiyuan is the main suspect in an ongoing police investigation following a complaint lodged with Police that he, through his company A & D Consultancy Limited, was allegedly falsifying documents and bringing foreign nationals into Papua New Guinea.

A&D Consultancy Ltd was alleged to have brought in an undisclosed number of foreign workers under various companies without these companies’ knowledge and or consent.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki said as the Commissioner of Police and the Commander of the APEC Joint Security Task Force, he was alarmed at this allegation and ordered an immediate investigation.

The Police Investigation team obtained search warrants for the company’s known office locations at Boroko and the Kennedy Estate in the National Capital District. The Boroko premises was no longer used by the company. However, a search was conducted at the Kennedy office at around 6.30 pm on Friday, 26 April, 2018, where various company documents, including K149,000 in cash, were confiscated by police. Other documents including Chinese passports, work permits, computers, laptops and mobile telephones were also confiscated.

Police also seized over 200 common seals belonging to various companies, including about 24 belonging to Chinese State-owned companies such as China Engineering (PNG) Limited, China Railway Construction Engineering Group North Project Company PNG Ltd, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, Covec (PNG) Limited and Petropipe Construction Company Limited.

Senior Sergeant Terry said Police will be seeking confirmation from these companies whether they had given their common seals to A&D Consultancy Limited to use.

Zhiyuan was brought in with six other suspects, another male suspect also from China and five females from the Philippines.

“We had a lot of documents to sort out so we confiscated their passports and released the seven suspects to the custody of their respective embassies to be brought in for interview when required,” Senior Sergeant Terry stated.

“We have contacted both the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority as well as the Department of Labour and Employment to assist us sort out the documents we have on hand. We need their help to explain for instance, how more than 30 foreign passports in our possession do not show any arrival stamp or even that of the outward port of origin.

“A lot of the passports show a departure stamp but if the person has left, why is the passport still here in PNG? Interestingly, documents on hand also show that A&D Consultancy charges fees for PNG arrival and departure stamps. We will want to know whether the PNG Immigration and Border Protection Authority has outsourced this responsibility to a private foreign owned company.

“There appears to be a lot of over-stayers passport among those confiscated. We want to know why work permits approved last year are still in the possession of the company. Whilst we have sighted hundreds of receipts for work permits we have not sighted any for visa. We will of course be verifying these with the relevant government departments.”

He said whilst sorting out the documents, Zhiyuan allegedly offered the bribe to him. He also said during the ongoing investigation, his team was subjected to unnecessary and undue pressure from a member of the police force. He said the policeman will be required to explain his actions.

“We will not be intimidated nor bribed. We have been given an important task to do and will do so without fear or favour,” Senior Sergeant Terry said.

Commissioner Baki stated the Police Force is determined to get down to the bottom of this allegation and take immediate corrective measures.

“At this point in time the allegations appear to be isolated and we expect that during the course of the investigation, and with the assistance of the relevant and responsible government departments, we will identify whether there are any weaknesses in the system and take corrective measures.”

Commissioner Baki added that he was pleased with the efforts of the Police Investigating team thus far.

The investigation continues and more arrests are expected to be made over the next two weeks.

Picture: Police Investigations team leader Senior Sergeant Apollos Terry (standing middle) with suspect Zhiyaun (Aaron) Cui (seated right) with the K10,000 cash allegedly offered to Senior Sergeant Terry.

Press release