PNG on hook in poaching
PAPUA New Guinea’s political elite are embroiled in a corruption scandal linked to Vietnamese fish poaching syndicates raiding the Great Barrier Reef.
Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon has alleged senior PNG politicians are connected to illegal “phantom” fleets plundering sea cucumber, fish and clams in a $600 million-ayear trade in the South Pacific.
Australian officials are in talks with PNG counterparts after more than 100 Vietnamese poachers were caught on 10 boats, each loaded with up to nine tonnes of illegal seafood, off Queensland last year.
Video footage obtained by Mr Philemon allegedly shows links between prominent politicians, locals, fish pirates and illegal fishing.
PNG’s Office of the Prime Minister did not respond to questions.