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TASK FORCE APPOINTED TO ADDRESS PUMA & BPNG ISSUE

In an effort to address the ongoing issue between the Bank of Papua New Guinea and Puma Energy regarding the shortage of foreign exchange which affects Puma to source fuel outside the country.

Prime Minister James Marape has announced that the National Security Council has approved a Task Force to investigate the matter and find out how Bank of PNG (BPNG) and Puma Energy Limited cannot resolve issues pertaining to forex and Puma’s businesses.

This is after he entrusted Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso and Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey with the responsibility of resolving the ongoing issue between Puma Energy and Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) with no permanent solution reached to date.

Prime Minister Marape said in the interest of the national security, the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) convened on Friday, July 21, 2023, and recommended the following to the National Security Council (NSC) and National Executive Council (NEC):

  • Minister for Petroleum and Energy Kerenga Kua will utilize his powers to compel both Puma and BPNG to ensure fuel supply.
  • NEC will direct the establishment of a task force comprising representatives from Treasury, BPNG, Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU), Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), Customs, Department of Petroleum and Energy, along with two independent forensic audit firms. This task force will thoroughly investigate the allegations of money laundering by Puma, as the BPNG Board lacked sufficient information to address the issue effectively.
  • The Government will urgently explore an energy business modality to ensure the country is not held to ransom, as witnessed during the BPNG-Puma issue.

“I have assigned DPM Rosso and Treasurer Ling-Stuckey to address this matter, and I extend my gratitude for their relentless efforts in preventing an energy/fuel crisis in our country,” stated Prime Minister

“After diligent efforts from DPM Rosso, Treasurer Ling-Stuckey, NSAC, NSC, and NEC, a temporary solution has been put in place, and potential long-term solutions are under consideration,” PM Marape said.

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