Paladin Statement – 21 February 2019

Paladin has a proud history of providing discrete services to our clients in culturally sensitive ways since 2007, including in partnership with landowners on Manus Island since 2013. We do not have any bad debts or failed contracts. We do not make payments that are not linked to a service. We reject the notion in the media that any contract with a Papua New Guinea (PNG) entity is tainted by corruption – we find this notion offensive. We take our responsibility in providing services incredibly seriously and our number one priority at all times is the safety, security and wellbeing of our staff, the local community and those in our care.

Paladin has been concerned by recent reporting in the media. In particular, the story published by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on the 11th February 2019 entitled Bad debts, failed contracts across Asia trail Manus contractor Paladin (Article). This Article has failed to identify any evidence to sustain the damaging allegations being made against Paladin. We are concerned that other media outlets have been repeating these claims without undertaking appropriate due diligence to verify them. Paladin considers these are unsubstantiated allegations and we are seeking legal advice on our options for a full retraction and correction of the Article, including re-reporting by other agencies.

This statement clarifies our relationship with High Risk Security Group (Asia-Pacific) Unipessoal Lda and its related Australian entity HRSG Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN 83 614 059 577) of Level 2, 128-134 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500 (High Risk Group Companies). Neither business is owned, managed or controlled in any way by Paladin, its owners or Directors. We understand there is some confusion in the media around these unrelated entities and any potential bad debts and failed contracts that may be attributed to them.

We further clarify that High Risk Security Group Pty Ltd (ABN 64 144 000 573) is the original name of Paladin Group Pty Ltd, recently changed to Paladin Aus Pty Ltd (Paladin Aus). Notwithstanding the similarities in names, we can confirm that there was some discussion in 2009 about Paladin Aus and the High Risk Group Companies pursuing work together. This did not eventuate, and the entities are and always have been completely separate. In fact, Paladin has operated in competition to HRSG in Timor Leste under Sentinel Unipessoal Lda since 2015.

Further, we take this opportunity to advise that Paladin Aus Pty Ltd has no service delivery contracts in Australia and as such had been registered at a private residential address. This address has now been changed to a serviced office in Canberra.

We absolutely support the stated position of the Speaker of the PNG Parliament and Acting Governor General of PNG, the Honourable Job Pomat MP in his claims that he is not a party to any business by Paladin, its subcontractors (including Peren Investments Limited) and partners (including Pomwan Paladin Security Limited). We recognise the Speaker as a man of absolute integrity, a leader of his people and a respected clan leader in Manus Province. Peren Investments Limited represents the traditional custom landowners for the site of ELRTC in Lorengau under the leadership of Kepo Pomat.

We engage with communities wherever we work and a Director of Paladin Holdings Pte Limited, Ian Stewart will be presenting this methodology at the PNG Security Congress in Port Moresby on 5th March 2019. We understand our guard force in Manus under Pomwan Paladin Security Limited to be among the highest trained and highest paid in Papua New Guinea (Security Industry Authority 2018). Our partnership success story under the Pomwan Paladin Joint Venture with Manusian businessman Rodney Pokapin should be celebrated and encouraged. We are proud of what can be achieved when working with local communities and we employ over 97% PNG nationals across our workforces.

We have attached to this statement a copy of the High Risk Security Group (Asia-Pacific) Unipessoal Lda registration to verify the ownership is not related. We understand this is difficult to verify because it cannot be sourced online. However, we encourage responsible commentators to access documents that sustain any claims they are making, rather than relying on unsubstantiated ‘online’ assertions.

Ian Stewart