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Former police chief charged

Tuesday 15 March 2016 | Published in Regional

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PORT MORESBY – Former Port Moresby police chief Andy Bawa has been arrested and charged with abuse of office and stealing – just one of several incidents that have shocked Papua New Guineans this week.

Relating to the arrest of Bawa, NCD-Central commander, Sylvester Kalaut, said his predecessor went through normal interview processes yesterday and was formally arrested and charged with abuse of office and stealing.

Kalaut said this follows allegations relating to the use of funds earmarked for police duty allowances during the 2015 Pacific Games hosted by Port Moresby last year.

According to Assistant Commissioner for Crimes Victor Isouve the alleged amount involved was supposed to be for allowances for police personnel involved in the Games which Bawa had allegedly diverted from its intended purpose.

Bawa was interviewed last week and appeared at Boroko police station yesterday with his lawyer to conclude the formalities by being charged. He was released on bail.

Bawa had maintained his innocence from the outset, saying that he had been authorised to use the money for operations of the NCD Command.

“I did not use it on my own free will. No one personally benefitted from this money. The whole command of NCD benefited,” he said.

In another high-profile development yesterday, police also arrested PNG Power Limited executive director John Mangos as he stepped off the plane and charged him with misappropriation and official misconduct.

And in the third development, the standoff between the two Correctional Services commissioners – Michael Napo and Bernard Nebo – ended in a compromise after a meeting yesterday. Acting Correctional Services Commissioner Nepo is refusing to vacate office and budge from the post after a Supreme Court order reinstated Waipo.

On Friday Waipo turned up at the Correctional Services headquarters at Hohola to resume office with the court order but was refused entry by guards at the gates, which almost led to a confrontation between rival supporters. - Post-Courier