Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has announced that the National Security Council has approved a Task Force to investigate as to how Bank of PNG (BPNG) and Puma Energy Ltd cannot resolve issues pertaining to forex and Puma’s businesses. This is after he entrusted Deputy Prime Minister Hon. John Rosso and Treasurer Hon. Ian Ling-Stuckey with the responsibility of resolving the ongoing issue between Puma Emery and Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) with no permanent solution reached to date.
Prime Minister Marape said in the interest of national security, the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) convened on Friday, July 21, 2023, and recommended the following to the National Security Council (NSC) and National Executive Council (NEC):
1. Minister for Petroleum and Energy Hon. Kerenga Kua will utilise his powers to compel both Puma and BPNG to ensure fuel supply.
2. NEC will direct the establishment of a task force comprising representatives from Treasury, BPNG, Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU), Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), Customs, Department of Petroleum and Energy, along with two independent forensic audit firms. This task force will thoroughly investigate the allegations of money laundering by Puma, as the BPNG Board lacked sufficient information to address the issue effectively.
3. The Government will urgently explore an energy business modality to ensure the country is not held to ransom, as witnessed during the BPNG-Puma issue.
“I have assigned DPM Rosso and Treasurer Ling-Stuckey to address this matter, and I extend my gratitude for their relentless efforts in preventing an energy/fuel crisis in our country,” stated Prime Minister
“After diligent efforts from DPM Rosso, Treasurer Ling-Stuckey, NSAC, NSC, and NEC, a temporary solution has been put in place, and potential long-term solutions are under consideration.”