PNG FORESTRY SCANDAL UNDER INVESTIGATION

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$40 million allegedly in offshore bank account

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 6, 2008) – Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission says it will investigate allegations of millions of dollars in secret deals between two government ministers and Asian logging companies.

PNG's Ombudsman has confirmed it has received documents from the Post Courier newspaper.

The newspaper says it has handed over information that it based its story on about the discovery of US$40 million in an account in Singapore.

It reported the money was in a government minister's off-shore bank account.

It's alleged the money was earned from a two per cent kickback from log exports.

PNG's Ombudsman says it will study the documents before making its own investigations.

PNG's Deputy Prime Minister Doctor Puka Temu has welcomed the move.

He says the Ombudsman and police will carry out a proper investigation

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