Pape Clarifies Misleading Claims

Forensic Investigator Andy Peperaija Pape is ready to testify in court on allegations over the legal action taken against him by Opposition Leader Belden Namah this week.

Pape, a member of the Certified Fraud Examiner (American Association) and a Certified Practicing Accountant PNG in a statement singled out that he was recommended by the development partners and donors to review the Covid-19 Funds considering he is one of the few top forensic investigation experts operating in PNG.

He said he has no issues with Namah’s referral of the case to the courts, however, the manner in which the information was laid out was improper and that he was merely the “scapegoat”.

He wishes to clear the air and put the record straight.

Namah has made a Supreme Court Application under Constitution Section 18 (1) seeking orders that one Andy Peperaija Pape, a Special Constable and so-called accountant, breached the Constitution while permitting, facilitating or receiving payments from several sources in PNG as well as from an Australian company; and that the Bank South Pacific in permitting, facilitating and transacting these payments aided and abetted in the breach of the Constitution.

However, Pape said he was merely doing his work as a forensic investigator and it was actually an internal forensic investigation not an assurance services which would require issuance of an audit opinion.

He stated that in his capacity as Certified Practicing Accountant PNG, he provides range of consultancy and forensic investigation services to number of his clients including state agencies and private entities. These professional services are not of accounting and audit nature.

“Based on my special forensic investigation skills, I have been engaged by the Commissioner of Police to assist the police detectives to conduct criminal investigations especially into the High-Profile cases.

“I provide this support services to the police detectives in parallel with my other non-police advisory engagements.”

Mr Pape also said he was deputized as a Special Constable and assisted the police detectives in the Criminal Investigation into the alleged misappropriation and stealing of K268 million belonging to the people of CMCA communities in Western Province.

This newsroom understands that a prominent lawyer and number of directors of an entity called Ok Tedi Fly River Development Foundation Ltd were arrested and charged by police in connection with the investigation.

Namah claimed that no records exist of SCMC approval for Pape’s engagement and he is not registered with the Accountants Registration Board of PNG.

He further alleged that payments were made to Pape in varying amounts by the Department of PM and NEC, the Fly River Provincial Government and a certain 2499/icp which has since been identified as FTI Consulting Australia Pty Ltd firm of Australia.

However, Pape said he did not start receiving the payments referred by Namah after he was engaged as a Special Constable.

“I have been working with FTI for well over two years. I have been engaged as a consultant or subcontractor for FTI Consulting Australia PTY Ltd for over two years and these payments of continuation of payments that I received in the past prior to my engagement as a Special Constable.”

“Similarly, I was engaged by Department of Prime Minister & National Executive as advisor for five years which ended in December 2020”. The fees that came from the department were my consultancy fees.

According to Namah, in September 2020, Pape Accountants began to receive payments from FTI and records show that to date it received K1.9 million.

Pape then made payments including:

1. K99,500 to a party in PNG identified as ‘principal’,

2. K89,033.78 to ‘Consultancy’,

3. K179,736.55 to ‘Overseas Supply’,

4. K25,075.23 to ‘Rex Paki’, and

5. 143,637.60 to ‘it to Australia’.

Namah said these payments are highly ‘suspicious’ as they were made by a member of the Special Police Forensic and Criminal Investigation Team and “gives rise to the possibility that they are corrupt”.

Pape, however, clarified that FTI Consulting Australia PTY Ltd is a global consultancy firm and he has been engaged as its consultant strictly based on merit and reputation.

The payments made by FTI are purely his professional services fees.

“And the payments that are listed in there are all my legitimate business expenses.

“If the police and government agencies would like to look into these payments, my books are open and I am ready to testify in court.”

Mr Pape also said he will seek legal advice to pursue the matter in court for defamation as he says he has done nothing wrong and was working as normal business consultants would do.

He also pointed out that his legal advisors will look into the manner in which his private and company bank accounts were illegally and without his consent were pulled out of the bank and exposed in public and presented in court.

Mr Pape also mentioned that BSP has confirmed that his company’s bank statements were unlawfully supplied by a known Bank officer and was dealt accordingly and terminated.

Mr Pape dismissed the baseless claim by Namah of his association with Prime Minister James Marape even though they come from the same province.

He mentioned that he is a learned Papua New Guinean and he executed his professional services in an ethical manner that should not be politicized.