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Senior officials reveal systemic corruption

By Pearson Kolo PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 5, 2009) - The Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee investigating the anti Asian rioting was yesterday shocked that there was rampant corruption and bribery in the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Department.

Senior officials fronting the committee at Parliament House at the start of the probe told the committee members that officers were receiving bribes and involved in other corrupt practices to allow foreigners into Papua New Guinea.

Deputy Secretary - Immigration, Elias Woaugu, senior officers Delilah Madao and Dominic Ampaoi revealed that several officers had been penalized for being involved in such illegal activities. The committee heard that corruption was rampant; the department was crippled and could not monitor illegal aliens and their activities in PNG. The Jamie Maxton-Graham committee heard that the department was under staffed, under funded and need state-of-the-art technology to keep track of foreigners and remove any living illegally in PNG.

The committee was told that there could be more than 15,000 foreigners living illegally in the country and this figure was based on assumption only.

The committee will travel around the country in the next two weeks to gauge the views of the people and then present their findings to Parliament for deliberation and further action.

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