PNG PM wants convicted Chinese national case revisited

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Picture: RNZ

PORT MORESBY, (THE NATIONAL) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he will direct the police commissioner to relook at the case of convicted Chinese national Kevin He Kai who was deported but has since returned.

O’Neill said foreigners convicted of committing crimes in Papua New Guinea should not be allowed to move freely in the country.

“Subject to further orders from the court or any other orders that I may not be aware of, if the conviction still remains and if Kai is still in the country, police will rearrest him,” O’Neill said.

“I confirm to this House that officers that are involved will be disciplined.”

The prime minister was responding to Ijivitari MP Richard Masere in Parliament on Friday. Masere asked O’Neill if the officers involved in helping Kai would be disciplined or terminated.

Masere also asked if Kai would be allowed to remain in the country.

O’Neill said he was not familiar with the details of Kai’s case but he agreed with the MP that such people should not be walking free in the country.

According to police intelligence reports, Kai was a member of a criminal organisation, and he returned to the country by manipulating Government officials, including the Immigration, Customs and police.

He was caught conducting illegal activities including smuggling counterfeit cigarettes. He appeared in court and was jailed for three years at Bomana.

After serving a year, he was deported but mysteriously made his way back into the country during the 2017 national election.