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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 10) - Fourteen people have been arrested as police detectives continue to trace the disappearance of more than PGK1.5 million [US$534,864] belonging to the Southern Highlands Provincial Government.

Acting Police Commissioner Fred Sheekiot said investigations into allegations of massive corruption and embezzlement within the provincial government would continue undeterred until perpetrators were brought to justice.

He said this yesterday when he received a progressive report on major fraud investigations pending within the police criminal investigation division.

"Bribery and corruption threatens good governance and national security, and it is important for police and all partners in the enforcement of law and justice to work together in the fight against corruption. What we have uncovered amounts to over PGK1.5 million but it is likely the amount may increase as we continue to make progress in our investigations."

He said auditors from the Treasury Department, Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs, Auditor-General and the Personnel Management Department were helping detectives.

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