The three officers include an officer from the Immigration Department, a Labour Department officer and an officer from the PNG Defence Force.
The other three are not government workers and include the ring leader and two of his accomplices who are said to be members a crime syndicate who had gone around impersonating Taskforce Sweep members and extorting money from foreigners and business houses in Port Moresby.
Taskforce boss John Bria told the Post Courier last night that the law is too big for any individual and these arrests must serve as a warning to all citizens, especially public servants who want to find a way to make easy money by stealing from the public.
MR BRIA said people in positions of authority and members of law enforcement agencies should not abuse their positions and betray the trust and confidence bestowed upon them by the State to serve the people of Papua New Guinea.
As a result of the work of both Taskforce Rausin Alien and Taskforce Sweep, more and more evidence is coming to light about government officers becoming involved in criminal activities.
“Just last month, members of a police fraud squad and Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) officers were implicated and it is believed police have launched an internal investigation on these disturbing findings,” Mr Bria said.
The arrests were conducted both in Port Moresby and Goroka by members of the Taskforce Rausim Alien. They flew in and arrested the ring leader and his associates inside Goroka Post office after they were set up to pick up some money.
The suspects were arrested and charged with five counts of extortion and impersonation. Their applications for bail were refused.
The three were flown down to Port Moresby yesterday and locked up at the Boroko Police cells.
The first suspect, a PNG Defence Force officer based in Port Moresby, was apprehended inside Holiday Inn Hotel. He is said to have confessed to the crime revealing the identities of other members of the syndicate.
Mr Bria said based on that information, an intelligence team flew to Goroka where they arrested the ring leader and two other suspects
The syndicate ring leader also under the guise of being the Regional Coordinator for Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso was soliciting funds from unsuspecting farmers under the pretext of giving them loans from the Office of the Governor.
He has also been claiming to be a youth representative appointed by the Office of the Prime Minister for Eastern Highlands Province.
Taskforce coordinator John Bria said his team will not hesitate to come down hard on imposters and con artists who are using the work of the taskforce for personal gain. Post Courier