The Office of Attorney General has charged police lieutenant Jonie Ngeluk with a felony charge of Theft of Government Property in the First Degree.  The charge is a class B Felony punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment and an optional fine of up to $25,000.

Officer Lt. Ngeluk allegedly retained government property with an approximate value of $10,000 that was donated by the Australian Federal Police (AFT), “with intent to convert it to her own use, knowing the property belonged to the Palau Bureau of Public Safety.”

According to the police report, Bureau of Public Safety Director Ishmael Aguon suspended Lt. Ngeluk’s appointment as the Palau Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) representative to the Pacific Islands Chief of Police Network (PICP) on April 28, 2022, and told her to return all properties in her possession that was donated by the PICP or AFT to the Bureau of Public Safety no later than May 2, 2022.

The report also states that Lt. Ngeluk responded the same day to BPS Director Aguon denying having in custody or in her possession any properties belonging to the BPS.

Based on the search of her residence and her cubicle at the Ministry of Justice, executed after the search warrant was issued, a pelican box, one projector, two dell laptops, a box of frisbees, and other goods listed in the AFP airway bill, were found.  The items were sent by AFP for a police force project.

Lt. Ngeluk picked up the items from the Customs Bureau without Director Aguon’s consent, stated the report.  The airway bill described items and the total value of goods shipped as $15,000.  The package included six dell laptops, and Ngeluk, according to the police report, had given 4 to BPS as donations and kept 2 for herself.  One of the dell laptops seized was in possession of her cousin.

The report alleges that Lt. Ngeluk knew that the items in her possession belonged to BPS but kept them for her own personal use.

This would not be the first brush with the other side of the law for police officer Ngeluk.  In 2020, she was suspended without pay for three days for using unmarked BPS vehicles for personal use, outside of duty hours, and while intoxicated. 

Lt. Ngeluk had served nearly 20 years in the police force and was recently assigned to head the Victims Advocate Office.  She is the 4th highest ranking female in the police force.

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