Business News

Sine Cleared of Charges

Charges of Official Corruption and Conspiracy laid against PNG Customs Border Services Commissioner Benjamin Sine, have been discharged by the Waigani Committal Court.

Magistrate Ernest Wilmot in his ruling today said the court was not satisfied with the sufficiency of evidence provided by police.

42-year-old Sine from Goroka in Eastern Highlands who appeared from an extended court bail of K1,000 was charged with five counts of Abuse of Office, Conspiracy to Defraud, False Accusation and Extortion.

The allegations involved in this case include the discovery of fraudulent documents that were used to avoid state duty and GST tax (Goods and services tax) component that totalled up to K668,227 that was should have been paid to state accounts.

In July, police withdrew allegations of bribery, accusing Sine and another PNG Customs officer allegedly received K30, 000 in September 2018 from an associate of an importer of illegal cigarettes.

Today the court heard that though there was an investigation conducted into the allegation involving K668, 227 by PNG Customs, where bank statements and phone records were obtained, there were poor investigations carried out by police.

Magistrate Wilmot said police investigators did not conduct separate interviews with the seven people whose statements were included in the police hand-up brief, instead much of what is captured in the police hand-up brief were findings provided by PNG Customs.

The court has ordered for his refund of bail money

By Theckla Gunga, EMTV News, Port Moresby

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