National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Office Opened

By Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate (NFACD) office in Port Moresby was reopened this afternoon under a condition that a vetting committee must verify all high-profile cases before arrests are made.

When opening the gate to the office at 3pm, Deputy Police Commissioner – Operations, Jim Andrews, said this is the normal process and they want to keep accountability and reporting to the Commissioner, Gari Baki.

The vetting committee will comprise of the Deputy Commissioner – Operations, Deputy Commissioner – Administration, Assistant Commissioner – Crimes, and others including the Deputy Public Prosecutor.

“For the committee, the vetting committee, for me is like appearing before the judge and presenting my case. But that’s the process and I’m sure we’ll be able to fit in,” said NFACD Director, Matthew Damaru.

The office has been under lockdown for three weeks by orders of the Police Commissioner, Gari Baki.

Commissioner Baki shut down the office temporarily on April 18, after the National Court under Justice Allan David reinstated suspended NFACD Director, Matthew Damaru.

Damaru was suspended because of an unsanctioned fraud investigation conducted into the Eastern Highlands and Simbu provincial administrations.

After Damaru’s court victory, Commissioner Baki used his administrative powers to shut down the office.

All firearms and vehicles were ordered to be returned and officers prevented from entering the office.

The temporary shutdown has drawn public criticism and university student protests, calling for Commissioner Baki to step down from office and reopen the directorate.

The reopening today was a relief for the fraud investigators.

Damaru said they are happy to be back in the office after three weeks.

“We will continue normal duties by tomorrow,” he said.

The directorate added that people can come in and report any fraudulent activities.

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