Marape defends son

Papua New Guinea’s 8th Prime Minister and incumbent Tari-Pori Member James Marape in a press conference on Monday 4 July addressed the alleged involvement of his son in the transportation of K1.56 million from Port Moresby to Komo in Hela Province.

Marape clarified that his son was in the vicinity of the location where the suspect was found with the money. He also said the money allegedly belongs to a local construction company, Ipwenz Construction Limited. 
“One of them has my surname, who happens to be my son. He was in the vicinity, he was not directly there to pick up the money that was being transported. 

“I just want to report to the country, rest assured I don’t need that money to make me win re-elections. Today, without that money, people are coming out big. 
“I’ve never used money to win elections since 2007 on my first entry to Parliament.” 

Marape said his son was with the team escorting journalists to the PNG LNG sites when they happened to be in the vicinity of where the money was being delivered to another vehicle and thus were assumed to be with the same interests. 
“The cargo belongs to a local construction company. They knew that the plane is usually checked in Hides. If it was any illegal delivery, they would have considered that but they thought is was ok for them to bring that money for their own businesses. It was apprehended. These are matters before police. 

“I just want to inform our country, nothing to do with me. My son had no input in the transportation of the money. 
 Marape said the arrest took place and allowed for the process of police to take its course. His son is on bail.

“The money is in police custody. It was not used in any way for the elections. Not money that is coming in and meant to assist me whatsoever in the elections.
“As far as my son is concerned. He was not in the plane carrying the money. He was not part of the team that was carrying the money. 

“It was a complete isolated matter from another person who was transporting the money who happened to be the Director of the company that owned the money,” said Marape. 


Marysila Kellerton