Marape claim PNG lost over $US1 billion in the UBS loan transaction

Prime Minister James Marape has revealed that the country directly and indirectly lost over $US1 billion during the process of acquiring the UBS loan.

The amount is equal to more than K3.3 billion.

Prime Minister Marape announced this after giving evidence before the royal commission on Monday.

“From my records from what was directly lost and indirectly lost and the opportunity cost associated, we lost over $US1-2 billion dollars in the process of the UBS transaction,” he said.

Early during the inquiry, Managing Director of the Kumul Petroleum Holdings, Wapu Sonk revealed that that the country lost $US432 million.

Prime Minister James Marape, who gave evidence in his capacity as the then Finance Minister under Peter O’Neill’s Prime Ministership in 2014, said he and other government ministers were “bulldozed” into agreeing to the deal.

“The UBS deal was totally unnecessary except maybe to help our friends from Oil Search. We sank over a billion dollars into that transaction.

“The then Prime Minister had a rush through Parliament. I am maybe engaged in this inquiry to redeem myself as a national leader, speaking also as a minister at that time. As a Minister, I was impressed upon that there was an urgency into this transaction,” said Marape.

Jemimah Sukbat