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SOMARE’S KIWI BUSINESS PAL GETS DEPORTED FROM PNG Osborne allegedly a victim of Somare, O’Neill tug-o-war

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 29, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea (PNG), popular Ela Beach Hotel restaurant operator, and a close friend of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Graham Osborne was yesterday morning deported from the country.

Mr Osborne runs the popular Ela Beach Brassier and caters exclusively for the revamped Ela Beach Hotel’s function rooms and hotel guests.

Mr Osborne, according to a friend, was woken at about 6am yesterday when Immigration and police officers turned up at his gate with a search warrant "a suspected unregistered firearm, drugs and pornography’’. According to the friend, they found nothing but took Mr Osborne’s phone off him and not let him call anyone.

They put him in a vehicle, drove him out to Gerehu for couple of hours then to the airport to catch the 9.30 flight to Cairns. Mr Osborne is now in Cairns, Australia.

The New Zealander is a close friend of Sir Michael.

It appears Mr Osborne is the victim of the current political tug-o-war between Sir Michael and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Mr Osborne’s deportation comes two weeks after Prime Minister Peter O’Neill warned foreigners on the floor (of Parliament) who were in Papua New Guinea doing business or working and living in the country to stay out of internal political matters of the country.

Mr Osborne is a member of the PNG NRL Bid project, was a former president of the Port Moresby Golf Club, was a member of the National Gaming Board and was chairman of the Sports Foundation. He has also been active in the redirection and growth of rugby union development in the country.

Yesterday, the Immigration office confirmed to the Post-Courier of Mr Osborne’s deportation, however, the acting immigration director-general could not be reached for comment.

When asked who the complainant was on the deportation order, the Immigration officer said it was from the Government based on "questions about the legitimacy of his residential business compliance’’’ status.

The officer said they were "only acting on orders from the Immigration boss and the Customs office that Osborne successfully gets deported’’.

Another senior officer of the department said the instructions for Mr Osborne’s deportation may have come from the Government but "this must also send a message to foreigners, especially in the business community, that gone are the days where foreigners tried to control the destiny of this country’’.

Meanwhile, former acting Prime Minister Sam Abal has condemned Mr Osborne’s deportation and has called for the O’Neill – Namah Government to reverse its decision as it was unhealthy for the country.

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