NID syndicate uncovered

The PNG Civil & Identity Registry and National Identification Office has uncovered a syndicate style operation where certificates and NID cards bearing other people’s identities are being sold.

Acting registrar general, Michael Kumung, said this was discovered following the establishment of a task force to identify illegal NID activities.

He cautioned that this is illegal and carries a hefty penalty.

The acting registrar told Loop PNG that individuals had been discovered to be carrying out the illegal practice.

He said information collected by the state is confidential and should not be sold or given to another person.

“We took control and we’ve started to put a stop and tell people to follow the process so that information is managed. We have a record of how many have been registered so we don’t want people to abuse that process,” said Kumung.

“The owner of the information must get him or herself registered rather than a third party.

“There’s a task force operation we are doing to put a stop to this illegal printing of certificates, selling certificates for money, dealing with officers within our system.”

Kumung said the activities were picked out when investigating a few third party registrars.

He said the NID registration process is not to be outsourced and is the sole responsibility of the Office.

So far, several arrests have been made and Kumung warns those involved that the law will catch up with them.

“The Civil Registration Act does not allow agents to do birth registrations or death registrations or even death registrations.

“If anybody is doing that, they will be arrested and charged. And the penalty is so severe. It’s life imprisonment, according to the act,” said Kumung.

The acting registrar said they have begun to clean up the office process and expect to have smoother operations soon.

Cedric Patjole