As if there weren’t enough Spice to life in PNG, the latest rumour regarding Tim Spicer, Iraq’s Mercenary King (in the words of Vanity Fair), is better than a Hollywood movie, and more John le Carre than James Cameron: That Spicer’s company G4 has bought out Protect Security and paid 80 PNGDF personnel to jump ship for him, more or less buying a private army from the PNG army to serve Exxon-Mobil along the LNG project. One subplot has two of the Fijian mercenaries recently routed from Simberi Island, New Ireland (Sir Julius Chan’s ancestral home), being African Americans under Spicer’s employ after all. But another plot twist has Minister for Forests shhng in his pants because in 97 it was he, after all, who beat up his nibs the Spicer. Mr Minister, formerly Bomana Prisoner number ?, is said to have staged the recent break-out at Bomana to show Spicer he has his own band of merry mercenaries as well, but when Kapris (not to be mistaken for the Minister of Commerce and Industry Kapris) tried to spill these beans, to clear himself, the judge ordered him to think twice before incriminating certain public figures. Nevertheless the person who might have been incriminated is supposedly missing millions from his own portfolio that some believe can be traced back to the border of his province with Indonesia where some sophisticated firepower seems to be pouring through and is getting rapidly redirected down to key LNG sites in the South Highlands, making whose job all the harder? Tim Spicer’s. At the same time the LNG Project apparently has as many as 500 social and environmental consultants working on their impact assessments from their home base in Australia (go figger---are there no such consultants based in PNG?---I refer to www.nancysullivan.net for example) who have tried to jump up north for fieldwork but are thwarted by demands for informal fees to be paid to receive their work visas.