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Detectives from the National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate in Port Moresby have charged Bire Kimisopa, 57, of Kotiyufa village, Goroka District in the Eastern Highlands Province with fraud.
Police say the former MP for Goroka was charged with one count of official corruption, one count of conspiracy to defraud and one of misappropriating K517,000.00 of the Goroka District Authority (DDA), and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Kimisopa was a former Member of Parliament for Goroka Open and chairman of the Goroka District Development Authority (DDA) from 2012 – 2017.
It is alleged that between 3rd of January 2017 and 30th April 2017, Mr Kimisopa facilitated for K517, 000.00 to be paid to one of his staff for feasibility study and submission of project proposal for setting up of a University Centre at Kabiufa Advantage Secondary High School.
The complaint was made former Member for Goroka Open Henry Ame Ume who was ousted by the court of disputed returns filed by Kimisopa after the 2017 national elections.
Police then conducted investigations.
Their investigations revealed that Tom Monemone was Kimisopa’s Electoral Staff and prior to tabling the agenda before the DDA for consideration and approval he had on 2 January 2017 approved the payments to Tom Monemone.
Police also established that on the 4th January 2017, Kimisopa introduced an agenda as Extension of University Centre at Kabiufa Advantage Secondary High School and appointment of Tom Monemone as Consultant for the Project.
Goroka DDA passed resolution for extension of a University Centre at Kabiufa Secondary School and approved Tom Monemone as the Consultant for the project.
However, there was no PSTB and APC obtained for the project as per the Public Finance Management Act prior to making payments.
Police say the three lots of payments were paid to Tom Monemone Consultancy Services, but were deposited into his personal bank account held at the ANZ bank.
Investigation also revealed that as soon as the money was paid into the bank account, large sums of money in cash were withdrawn.
To date this money has not been acquitted and no progress or status report has been submitted to the Goroka DDA..
Police say two of Kimisopa’s accomplices have been arrested by Goroka Police and their cases are pending hearing at the Goroka District Court.
Mr. Kimisopa was arrested on warrant of arrest for Official Corruption yesterday morning in NCD and taken to NFACD office, Konedobu, where he was interviewed, charged and later taken to Boroko Police Station and placed in the cells.
Since, he has been arrested on warrant, no police bail is allowed except court bail.
He will appear in court for mention next week.