By SUSAN MERRELL
THERE are 65 Papua New Guinean entities and/or individuals who own the 92 properties in Cairns, according to a report obtained from the Queensland Registrar of Titles.
Our investigations have uncovered their names, addresses of properties in Cairns and date of purchase between September 29, 2005 and October 16, 2012.
The report does not provide any details about the sources of financing for these properties and most of them have no doubt been acquired by honest means.
One owner of a property in the prestigious suburb of Trinity Park is a high-ranking public servant in the Department of Finance who has recently been arrested for fraud.
Businessman Eremas Wartoto who was committed for trial in absentia on October 2 in the PNG National Courts on allegations of the misappropriation of K7 million, is the owner of three properties - one with a swimming pool abutting the house. He is currently in Cairns.
There are six property owners who are CEOs of State Owned Enterprises, including one who was recently suspended.
There’s yet another whose name has been linked to the K125 million Kokopo SCITB scandal, and a third who has been combatting serious allegations of corruption surrounding the disbursement of millions of kina through the authority which he heads.
There are four current MPs on the list: Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare; Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma; former Provincial Administrator of Southern Highlands Province and Governor for Southern Highlands William Powi, and Benjamin Poponawa, former deputy Auditor-General of Papua New Guinea and Minister for Civil Aviation in the Somare government, now Member for Tambul Nebilyer Open - who owns two properties.
Mr Poponawa was accused in the press earlier this year by a local man of the misappropriation of K6 million of RESI funds. He denied the allegation.
There is one former senior minister in the Somare government and his erstwhile First Secretary - himself a losing candidate in this election - who boast ownership of Cairns property. There are lawyers, a diplomat and so on.