East New Britain Provincial Administrator Wilson Matava, was arrested and charged for fraud by Detectives from the National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate on the 18 November, 2021.
Wilson Marava, aged 51 from Kabakaul village, Kokopo District, East New Britain Province was slapped with One count of Money Laundering and One count of Misappropriation of K510, 770.40 the property of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Wilson Matava is the current Provincial Administrator for East New Britain Province. He was appointed to the substantive position 2016.
This offences are alleged to have been committed after he had been made permanent.
The allegations against Mr Matava was that the K20 million that was released by the National Government to ENB Provincial Government and Provincial Administration for the purpose of developing Tourism Related Infrastructure in Kokopo, ENBP was not used for the purpose it was intended for and was grossly misappropriated.
In 2014, the National Government made a policy decision to declare Tokua in East New Britain Province as the Tourism Hub for Papua New Guinea. Based on that policy decision, K58 million was allocated in the 2014 Development Budget for Tourism Related Infrastructure Development for Kokopo, East New Britain Province.
Out of the K58 million budget allocation, K20 million was initially released to the ENB Provincial Government and its Administration as a first batch in 2014.
However, despite specific appropriation of K20 million in the Development Budget identified for Tourism Related Infrastructure Development, this money was grossly misappropriated on unrelated and non-development and unqualified expenditures not in any way associated with Tourism.
Out of the K20 million, he directed that K1 million be allocated to Legal Fees Vote. From the Legal Fees Vote, K510,770.40 was paid to Waisi Lawyers who had represented him court against former Provincial Administrator – Mr Aquila Tubal in court.
The total cost for Waisi lawyers legal fees was K40, 950.00 which Waisi lawyers kept in the law firms Trust Account whilst the balance of the money was paid to various entities and individuals as directed by the Provincial Administrator which were not related to Infrastructure Development for Kokopo which was identified as Tourism Hub for Papua New Guinea.
The complaint was made to the Police by interested stakeholders such as Chamber of Commerce and ENBP Tourism Board and Civil Society against Corruption.
Mr Matava was picked up at Jacksons Airport and taken to National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate Office in Konedobu, where he was interviewed and charged and later placed at Boroko Police Station cells.
He has been leased on K2,000 bail and will appear before Waigani District Court.
Since the offences were committed in Kokopo East New Britain Province, this matter will be transferred to Kokopo District Court for committal hearing there.