PNG CORRUPTION TASK FORCE COMPILES ‘WATCH LIST’

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Prominent citizens, including Tiensten, to have travel monitored

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 1, 2011) – A Papua New Guinea corruption task force has put 33 prominent citizens – including politicians – on a watch list, telling the national airline to monitor their travel.

The Task Force Sweep chairman, Sam Koim, told AAP he sent a letter to Air Niugini chief executive Wasantha Kumarasiri last week requesting the movements of 33 bureaucrats and politicians to be monitored.

PNG’s National newspaper reports former planning minister Paul Tiensten is on the list, as well as prominent business figure, Eremas Wartoto, and national planning secretary, Ruby Zarriga.

Mr. Koim won’t confirm which names were on the list.

In September, Mr. Tiensten fled to Australia after he was approached by the task force for questioning into more than four million U.S. dollars released to Mr. Wartoto to set up an airline.

Task Force Sweep, which was set up by the PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill as one of his first acts of office, says the airline doesn’t exist.

Last month, on his return to PNG, Mr. Tiensten was charged with misappropriation of funds, conspiracy to defraud the state and abuse of office.

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