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PNG to cancel Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra passport

Posted On: Thursday, 24 January 2013

24 JANUARY 2013 PORT MORESBY (NBC/POST COURIER) ---- The Papua New Guinea Government has started the process to cancel the passport issued to Indonesian fugitive, Djoko Tjandra.

Chief Secretary to Government, Manasupe Zurenuoc Wednesday wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato, advising that Tjandra's passport can be cancelled under law.

Tjandra obtained his PNG passport under controversial circumstances, which is now being investigated by the Department of Justice and Attorney General.

He recently changed his passport name to Joe Chan.

The Government learnt that after securing the name change, Tjandra obtained visas to Taiwan and Japan.

In the letter to Minister Pato, Zurenuoc said Tjandra is wanted by Indonesian authorities, and having a passport under a different name allows him to travel freely and evade authorities.

The Chief Secretary says Tjandra's behaviour is likely to create a security risk for PNG.

He advised Minister Pato that under the Passports Act 1992, the Minister has the power to cancel a passport where he's satisfied that the person is the subject of a warrant of arrest, and has engaged in activities that have caused or are likely to cause serious damage to the security of PNG.

Zurenuoc says clear grounds exist for Tjandra's passport to be cancelled, and he further advised Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, on the process to cancel the passport.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government Wednesday accused the PNG government of not taking their recommendations from their last joint meeting with PNG officials seriously.

The Indonesian government says apart from a whole range of issues discussed with the PNG government when they visited Port Moresby recently, Tjandra was priority.
“There are still some response and information and actions we needed the PNG government to have undertaken. We were assured that they (PNG team) will get back to us sooner on this matter, but since then we have not heard from the government of PNG,” Indonesian government officials said.

When asked if they were aware of the issuance of a PNG passport to Tjandra, the officials said “it was normal and we knew it would automatically come after the citizenship was awarded. We just didn’t know under what name until we received information.”

The Indonesian government will send another diplomatic note through the PNG office in Jakarta on the matter.
The officials said the office of the Indonesian President ? Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - has been briefed and is continuously being briefed through the Attorney General’s office on the matter.

They also said that the President’s office may seek further clarification if all avenues are exhausted.

The officials also alluded to the fact that they had confidence in the PNG Attorney-General’s office in responding to them in a timely manner.

In another development, the Immigration Task Force Rausim Alien has apprehended the alleged ring leader and mastermind behind the Bangladesh visa racket in the country.

After four months of investigation, the task force finally caught 32 year old Mohammed Nizam Uddin Mahmud.

According to his work permit, Mahmud is the managing director for Mahmud Group of Companies Limited, a company based at Hanuabada village in the National Capital District.

It was alleged that Mahmud acted as an agent in bringing in hundreds of unskilled Bangladesh nationals into the country and is paid substantial amounts of money by potential employers in return.

Investigations found that Mahmud allegedly acted as chairman of three different companies, Yohang Hana Enterprise, H. Jakaria and J.Hera Enterprises Limited.

He requested the Department of Labour to issue work permits to Bangladesh nationals to come into PNG.

The real owner of one of those companies, Michael He Fu Quan of Chinese national was surprised when he found out that somebody was using his company and signing letters with his company letter head without his knowledge.

Mahmud was about to bring in seven more unskilled Bangladesh nationals when the Task Force Team intercepted him.

Task Force Coordinator John Bria says the actions of this foreigner is a very serious concern to the country's national security, especially when he is able to falsify documents.

Bria says Mahmud was previously arrested for breaching Immigration and Labour laws for bringing in 6 foreigners to work in his company at Hanuabada village, where he operates small trade stores.

Bria says most of those stores can be operated by nationals and not necessarily requires foreign nationals who pretend to invest and in fact are using these small businesses to obtain permits to enter the country....PACNEWS)

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