Gamato arrested

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato was arrested and charged by detectives attached to the Boroko Police Station.

Acting NCD-Central Commander, chief superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said the arrest was effected today after police obtained a warrant for his arrest from the court.

Wagambie Jnr said Gamato's arrest stems from ongoing fraud investigations into a case of official corruption implicating the election manager for the National Capital District, Terrence Hetinu, in 2017.

At that time, Hetinu was arrested by police and money totalling K184,300 in cash were recovered from his possession on the eve of the national general elections.

Gamato initially stated that the monies recovered from Hetinu were camping allowances from election officials – a claim that is now the subject of ongoing investigations, said Wagambie Jnr.

“Detectives investigating the case obtained a warrant to have Gamato arrested and charged so as to have him face court and explain the origins of the cash.

“Gamato was charged for one count of official corruption under Section 87 (1)(a)(i)(ii), and one count of money laundering under Terrorist Financial Amended Act 2015 under Section 508C (i), and one count of conspiracy under Section 515 of the PNG Criminal Code Act.

“The defendant was also informed of his constitutional rights under section 42, subsection 2, before being detained by police to appear in court.”

The commander said no police bail was granted to the Electoral Commissioner due to the fact that he was arrested by a court warrant, but his lawyers can apply for bail when he appears in court.

Press release