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Papua New Guinea Maserati fleet for Apec raises questions

Five Maseratis seen at Port Moresby airport, draped in protective white covers

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The federal government says the automobiles are “promoting like hotcakes” to personal sector patrons

Papua New Guinea’s executive is beneath scrutiny for uploading 40 luxurious Maserati automobiles from Italy for the impending Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (Apec) summit.

The Quattroporte sedans, which price greater than $100,000 each and every (£75,000), will probably be utilized by overseas leaders.

Media and activists have wondered if the deficient Pacific nation has wasted hundreds of thousands.

However the executive says the personal sector has “dedicated” to paying.

Apec Minister Justin Tkatchenko mentioned the automobiles would “give you the stage of carriage for leaders this is the usual for automobiles used at Apec summits”.

Photos of the automobiles arriving at Port Moresby airport on chartered shipment planes had been shared on social media and sparked worry that taxpayer cash was once being wasted at the lavish acquire.

Mr Tkatchenko advised The Australian newspaper that some cash have been paid by means of the federal government as “a deposit to get the entirety right here” however that the automobiles had been “promoting like hotcakes” and would now not finally end up as a central authority burden.

He has now not printed how a lot the federal government has already spent at the automobiles nor who could be purchasing them and at what price.

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New variations of the automobiles promote for greater than $100,000 in the USA (2014 record %)

High Minister Peter O’Neill has additionally insisted that the federal government “is probably not out of any price range”.

Chinese language President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence are each anticipated to wait the high-profile regional amassing, which takes position subsequent month.

Keith Jackson, a blogger on PNG problems, advised the BBC that the automobiles had been a part of an effort by means of leaders to mission a picture of “sophistication” forward of the summit, together with prettying up the capital, Port Moresby, with new roads and structures.

“And this all at a time when infectious sicknesses like polio, TB and malaria have re-emerged within the nation, faculty academics don’t seem to be being paid and the majority of its 8 million individuals are transitioning to poverty,” he mentioned.

Papua New Guinea is among the poorest international locations in Apec, with 40% of the inhabitants residing on lower than $1 an afternoon in line with the UN. In June the federal government declared a countrywide public well being emergency after a deadly disease of polio.

Australia is anticipated to supply greater than $100m to lend a hand it put at the summit, in line with the Australian Broadcasting Company. This comprises deploying infantrymen in addition to fighter jets to safe airspace.

Contemporary Apec hosts have additionally procured fleets of luxurious automobiles to ferry round leaders. In 2015, BMW subsidized greater than 200 automobiles for the summit hosted by means of the Philippines and the automobiles had been later bought to the general public.

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