Top cop charged with misappropriation, abuse of office

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sylvester Kalaut, is facing two counts of misappropriation, one count of abuse of office and one count of conspiracy to defraud.

He was arrested and charged by police investigators yesterday with Director Human Resources, Superintendent Bob Kerry, who was also charged with the same offences.

Both are out on bail.

Police allege that between December 19, 2018, and December 31, 2019, Kerry and Kalaut were signatories to the Police Pension Suspense account held at the Bank South Pacific as per their capacities as Director Human Resources and ACP Human Resources of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary respectively.

Police allege that during those periods, Kerry and Kalaut authorised and misapplied a total of K948,815.67 for the purposes that was not intended for.

Assistant Commissioner Crimes Hodges Ette, without prejudice, while regretfully confirming the unfortunate turn of events, said this was an ongoing concern going as far back as former Police Commissioner Gari Baki’s term. Even former acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura had requested for audited reports of the account but was not given any.

He said Commissioner David Manning had also requested for a report of the account following concerns raised about its use but none was forthcoming. Kalaut was then suspended and an investigation was carried out into the account. This investigation was also conducted by an audit team from the Department of Finance.

Following the conclusion of the investigations by the police, the detectives from the police investigating team in their assessments were of the opinion that both officers had cases to answer. However, Ette also unequivocally stated strongly that both officers must be accorded equal protection of law and the constitution, as they remain innocent until proven otherwise.

(ACP Sylvester Kalaut)

Press release