A rumor is circulating in Sydney business circles that an Australian based Chinese business man, formally from Malaysia, is being sought by Australian authorities for questioning in relation to allegations he paid the former Minister of Mines, John Pundari, over A$1,000,000 for a mineral tenement Pundari applied for through an Australian associate about April 2010.
The tenement covers ground BHP had previously applied for in the Highlands while Pundari was Minister for Mining.
Subsequently, in 2011, after a change of Ministers, the same Australian based Chinese business man is reported to have approached the current Minister for Mining, Byron Chan and made a further payment in relation to the tenement.
BHP complained formally to Peter O’Neil about the matter compelling the Prime Minister to refer the matter both to “Operation Sweep” in PNG and the AFP.
A current employee within the Mineral Resources Authority is apparently assisting authorities in their investigations.