Juffa told Loop PNG that the engagement came as a surprise to many in Government and it also appears that the relevant body, National Security Advisory Council was unaware of this engagement.
“In fact the matter came to the attention of all when photos of foreigners carrying heavy assault weaponry in public were circulated via social media primarily facebook.”
"These photos caused much anxiety and apprehension in the community and many leaders were approached to seek and provide answers.
“The social media uproar has led to further investigations by various bodies and individuals and it appears that the engagement of these forces was improper.
“In fact it has come out, that the NSAC were never involved. All such matters pertaining to National Security must be endorsed by the NSAC after a stringent vetting process by members of the Intelligence Community and National Security Sector organs such as Police, Defence, Customs and Attorney Generals Department.”
Juffa added that this process would be coordinated by the Office of Security Coordination and Assessments or OSCA.
“If this was never reviewed and sanctioned by the NSAC and OSCA, then how were the services procured?” Juffa asked.
“Recent information indicates that the company is only a family company recently established by purported missionaries operating in PNG but originally from the USA.
“Information available on the company shows that they are not suitable for the task for which they have been engaged and allegedly paid K7m for.”
He further reiterated that the engagement of such training mechanisms must be through proper channels and using established links with allied nations or other APEC member nations.
“There are such options available and we should approach nations who have robust security mechanisms in place and many would be keen to assist.”
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Gari Baki confirmed the engagement of the security firm.
In a statement released earlier, Baki stated that he was approached by the president of the company, Peter Halliman around July last year and offered his company’s services to the RPNGC.
“As the Commissioner of Police and Commander of the APEC 2018 Joint Task Force I have been concerned at our response capability should we be faced with serious security threats such as a hostage situation for instance.
“I invited Laurence Aviation & Security Group to come to PNG in February this year to do a presentation for the senior police hierarchy on what they can offer to the RPNGC in terms of training.
“Other government departments were invited to attend the presentation including the PNG Defence Force, the Correctional Services and PNG Customs. As a matter of formality I wrote to the United States Embassy informing the embassy of the RPNGC’s intentions.
“Following the presentation I decided that the company had the necessary credentials, skills, experience and expertise to train an elite rapid response team for PNG which I intend to set up especially for APEC 2018,” Baki said.