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Fraud squad arrests former treasury officers

Two former officials from the Western Highlands Provincial Treasury Office have been arrested for official corruption yesterday.

Detectives from the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate (NFACD) apprehended them in Mt Hagen.

In a statement, Director Matthew Damaru said the former public servants were each arrested for one count of abuse of office, one count of conspiracy, one count of official corruption and one count of misappropriation.

“It was reported to the police at NFACD, by the Department of Finance, that more than K1.3 million was misappropriated by treasury officers from Mt Hagen,” said Damaru.

“It was alleged funds were obtained from the Provincial Government Grant Account, Provincial Operating Account and Provincial Treasury Account as cash advances between March 2013 and August 2014.

“Police investigations revealed that they colluded with each other and other officers of the Treasury Office and advanced into negotiations, where they facilitated the processing of the 39 cheques through PGAS and used the money for their own use.”

Former WHPG systems administrator/PGAS machinist, Priscilla Nasa, 47, of Aipanda village, Wabag, Enga Province, was arrested, along with 41-year-old Jonah Peter Posa of Lorengau, Manus Province.

“Nasa used her password to access the PGAS machine and print out 39 cheques, with duplications of cheques, and altered various cheque numbers,” said the Director.

Posa, the former acting accountant of the treasury office, was the signing officer to those 39 cheques and confirmation letters to BSP.

“Both were taken to Mt Hagen Police Station where they were interviewed, charged and placed in the cells,” stated Damaru.

More arrests on this matter are expected to be made in due course, he added.

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