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Papua New Guinea

Three public servants charged with stealing

BY MIRIAM ZARRIGA

A FAMILY is without money owed to them by the State because it was diverted and used up by some officers from the Workers Compensation Office.

The money owed to the Laiyo family is K47,531 was used up by greedy public servants through fraudulent means.

The family of Laiyo Kaipale was successful in lodging their claims at the Workers Compensation Office after the death of their father.

A cheque was paid out by the Department of Finance to the family.

The cheque was cleared and was supposed to be paid into the account of Kaipale’s daughter Mecky Laiyo but three workers of the compensation office decided to get their hands on the money.

The acting claimant manager Raymond Laka, claimant payment officer Jenny Orim and the manager budget and expenses Misa Lepiupi were interviewed by the Waigani police station minor crimes unit and they admitted stealing the money.

They were interviewed by the police and charged with three counts each of stealing, conspiracy to steal and fraudulently uttering.

Of the three, only Orim was allowed bail and would be used as a police witness.

Officer-in-charge of minor crimes Nasa Wangu said Orim was told to go to the bank to deposit the said cheque into the account however. when she was at the bank Mr Laka called to instruct her to change the account number on the remittance advise.

“The account number of Ms Laiyo was changed and the money was deposited into a newly created account,” Wangu said.

“When the money was deposited, the three used up the money and proceeded to use it over two days.”

When Ms Laiyo was made aware of the payment she enquired and was told the money was already raised and with the Workers Compensation Office, however, she was told it was already in the account, she checked and there was no money, Mr Wangu said.

She did more investigations and found out what happened so she reported the matter to the police who questioned the three workers before charging them, Mr Wangu said, adding that they would face court next week.

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