Man charged with stealing K5.5mil

Carl Okuk, 46, from Simbu Province was arraigned by the Waigani Committal Court today for misusing K5.5 million land acquisition for land portion 310 belonging to landowners of Ihu LLG, Gulf Province.

Okuk from Gambagogle village Kundiawa-Gembogl was arrested and charged by the Police with one count of Conspired to defraud under section 407 (2) (c), one count of Money Laundering under section 508 B (1) (b) and seven counts of misappropriation under section 383A of the Criminal Code Act.

He was detained at the Boroko Police Station and released on a K10,000 bail.

Police alleged that on the 9th of August 2023, the complaint Johannes Moriak, with the help of the Mariha Family Land Management Services (MFLMS) representing the landowners complained to the police after finding out that the K5.5 million cheque was released by the Gulf Provincial Government, but the landowners were unaware of that.

It was alleged that there was a team put together by the first accused Hilda Lovati Kekeao including Okuk, Samson Javati, the Principal of Javati lawyers, and others. Kekeao claimed that she was the sole owner of the land. They travelled to Kerema around the 14 and 15th of May 2023.

It was alleged that Kekeao and Okuk negotiated the release of the cheque for over a week. Finally, when they returned to Port Moresby the cheque was released on Saturday 20th of May, 2023, with 16 separate transactions made on different dates. Part of the transaction was made to the Javati law firm.

Police alleged that the MFLMS did not have a bank account when the monies were transferred, hence the accused was held accountable for the offense committed. 

Presiding Magistrate Paul Puri Nii arraigned the defendant and adjourned his matter to the 17th of June 2024, for police to compile the evidence.

Nii then read out his bail conditions and converted his police bail to court bail.

Meanwhile, the other co-accused were arrested and charged by the police on different dates.

Loop Author