Police in Papua New Guinea have charged a Chinese businessman with attempted bribery and are investigating whether he is running an illegal immigration scheme for workers for Chinese state-owned companies.
Police said Zhiyuan "Aaron" Cui was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into foreign workers in PNG.
"The suspect … allegedly offered 10,000 Kina ($4,000) cash to the Officer in Charge of the Gordons Police Station Minor Crimes Unit in the National Capital District, Senior Sergeant Apollos Terry," The Royal PNG Constabulary (RPNGC) said in a statement.
"Police alleged that the bribe was offered as an inducement for police to stop the ongoing investigation and to release confiscated documents and items back to Cui's custody."
Officers searched the office of Mr Cui's company, A&D Consultancy, and allegedly found 200 common seals belonging to various companies, including 24 owned by the Chinese Government.
Companies like China Engineering (PNG) Limited, China Railway Construction Engineering Group North Project Company PNG Ltd, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, Covec (PNG) Limited are working on major infrastructure projects.
"Police will be seeking confirmation from these companies whether they had given their common seals to A&D Consultancy Limited to use," the RPNGC said.
Police allege Mr Cui falsified documents and facilitated visa overstays.
They said they found passports without entry stamps and others with exit stamps, even though the worker was still in PNG.
Officers also arrested five women from the Philippines and another Chinese man as part of their investigation.
PNG's Police Commissioner Gari Baki said the investigation did not suggest the country's immigration controls were being widely subverted.
"At this point in time the allegations appear to be isolated and we expect that during the course of the investigation and with the assistance of the relevant and responsible government departments we will identify whether there are any weaknesses in the system and take corrective measures," he said.