SYDNEY – The government of Papua New Guinea bought 40 custom-made Maserati sedans from Italy, which will be used for just one week in November during the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC), Australian media reported on Friday.
“All costs will be recovered and there will be no cost to the state whatsoever at the end of the day,” PNG’s minister for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko, told Australian national broadcaster ABC.
Tkatchenko added that APEC had paid for the Maserati Quattroporte sedans, which arrived in Port Moresby this week on two charter planes and will be used by world leaders participating in the APEC forum in November, and assured that the Papuan government plans to sell off these vehicles later.
The minister avoided revealing the total cost of the luxurious vehicles, which cost between $150,000 and $245,000 each.
The purchase of these cars sparked outrage in the country, including from Gary Juffa, governor of the Northern Province, who recalled that “Papua New Guinea is facing so many problems insofar as health, education, law and order.”
“I just think it’s a slap in the face of the people in Papua New Guinea who are suffering,” Juffa added.
The district governor of Port Moresby, Powes Parkop, said instead that while it is a luxury, “it’s a way for us to show our deepest appreciation for the leaders who are coming to our country.”