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September 25, 2020
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Police Chief Confirms Treasury Secretary’s Arrest Warrant

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by Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, has confirmed a warrant of arrest for Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele.

The warrant was obtained by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate (NFACD) at the Waigani district Court last Wednesday.

Secretary Vele was asked to answer to his alleged involvement in the release of funds to an Israeli company for the purchase of two turbine generators last year (2014).

The two generators are now used by PNG Power, one in Port Moresby and the other in Lae.

Commissioner Baki today confirmed the issuance of the warrant of arrest. However, was disappointed with members of the NFACD for not advising him prior to obtaining the warrant.

Baki said he learnt of the arrest warrant on Facebook last Saturday (25/07), two days after the warrant was issued.

“As Commissioner of Police I was not provided a brief on this case until this matter was made public on Facebook and was brought to my attention on Saturday July 25. Upon receiving confirmation on the case I directed and received a briefing from Director NFACD Chief Superintendent, Mathew Damaru.

“As Commissioner of Police I am charged with the superintendence of the RPNGC. There is an established hierarchical structure and there are established protocols and practices in place, especially when dealing with leaders or high profile people.” Commissioner Baki said.

Yesterday, 26 July,  Baki directed that the district court order obtained by Chief Inspector, Timothy Gitua, be executed immediately in for Secretary Vele to answer for his charges.

In a media conference today, an irate Commissioner Baki strongly objected to the manner in which he was sidelined and not given approval for the arrest warrant to be issued.

“This is a serious breach of discipline and amounts to insubordination. In fact, they are treating the office of the Commissioner of Police with contempt. Why wasn’t I briefed prior to the securing of the warrant of arrest?”

Commissioner Baki has issued directives for Acting Deputy Commissioner, Raphael Huafolo, to lead a high profile investigation into the past, present and pending investigations in the NFACD.

“This directive is in view of the fact that there is strong perception that the NFACD is heavily politicised and influenced and is not impartial in all matters currently under investigation.” Baki said.

The team will also review the current arrangement between NFACD and Task Force Sweep.

Baki said any members of the police force will from now on will get approval from him before obtaining a warrant of arrest.

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