"RAMPANT" ABUSE IN PNG PASSPORT AGENCY

SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Nov. 13) - Corruption within Papua New Guinea's immigration system has been used by illegal immigrants to try to enter Australia.

PNG's Government has released details of an investigation into widespread abuse of its passport system.

Foreign Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu says non-citizens have been able to illegally obtain PNG passports, in many instances so they can travel to countries they would not otherwise be able to visit, including Australia.

Sir Rabbie says the report found abuse of the passport system to be "rampant."

Disciplinary action has been taken against 16 people, while criminal charges are still pending against one person.

Sir Rabbie says action has already been taken to improve management and security, however a recent theft at the department's headquarters saw the nation's passport database computer system, backups and blank passports stolen.

November 14, 2003

ABC News Online: http://abc.net.au/news/

 

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