Rowan Callick; 28/4/10
A cabal of top public servants and lawyers have hijacked Papua New Guinea’s government chequebook, plundering more than $300 million through sham compensation claims. The rorts include Finance Secretary Gabriel Yer initiating a spurious claim of $700,000 for himself and 225 people from his home village. He delivered the money to a dozen of them whom he had flown to Port Moresby, in a case containing 50-kina notes. A devastating judicial report detailing the conspiracy, commissioned and tabled in parliament by Prime Minister Michael Somare last month, shows the collapse of PNG’s control over its finances.