Kwanafia is a free man again
Alleged local fraudster Walter Hubert Kwanafia has been released from Papua New Guinea police custody, the Sunday Star was told last night.
And he is not going to be extradited due to lack of legal grounds to process his extradition papers.
Solomon Islands lawyer working in PNG George Atoa said Kwanafia was released because extradition formalities were not complied with.
Kwanafia, who was alleged to have conned a lot of people here and in PNG, was arrested fortnight ago.
After allegedly conning many people here, he left for PNG early this year posing as a real estate agent and seasonal worker recruiting agent.
He was reported to have embezzled thousands of dollars through his deception.
Atoa said Kwanafia will only be extradited to Honiara if there are complaints filed against him and registered by Solomon Islands police.
“Authorities in Honiara must send an extradition request and supporting documents to the Minister of Justice here.
“The supporting documents could be the Original Warrant of Arrest in SI.
“Thereon, prosecution here will take out a Provisional Arrest Warrant and arrest the suspect and detain him until all formalities are set for sending him over,” Atoa said.
According to Police sources, so far seven individuals have lodged complaints with Honiara Central Police Station about Kwanafia.
“This means that seven separate criminal cases are currently reported and registered at Central Police Station for investigation.
“The total amount Kwanafia allegedly took from these poor people stands at $33,030.00,” the police source stated.
It is believed that more Solomon Islanders have fallen victim to this man.
The police source said those who have already reported their complaints must pass on information to others who are on the same boat to report to police and lodge their complaints.
The Atoa, who works for China Railway Construction Engineering (PNG) Limited, said any further steps to extradite Kwanafia back to Honiara is now in the hands of Solomon Islands police.
“I have help provide legal opinion on the process and procedures in respect to the PNG Extradition Act, 2005 and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2005.
“This matter needs to be expedited as soon as possible,” Atoa said.
He said as a patriotic Solomon Islander, he does not want the name of our country tarnished in other countries by tricksters like Kwanafia.
“Our relationship with the community is important and as guests here in PNG, we want to keep our name clean and show a true ambassadorship.
“Fellow countrymen who worked here also want Kwanafia extradited because he will make shame of us and our community.
“So I volunteered to assist the authorities in expediting their lawful duties,” Atoa added.
He said it would be safer for Kwanafia to return home than remain in PNG where his life would be at risk if he fails to pay those he promised them money.
He added most of the people Kwanafia borrowed money from in PNG are not aware of his game.
Kwanafia is a high school Maths teacher who previously taught at King George Sixth School, Su’u, Selwyn College and Pawa Secondary School.
He is believed to be residing with his friends in Port Moresby.
By TEDDY KAFO