Papua New Guinea gov't says it won't pay for 40 luxury cars

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Papua New Guinea government has taken delivery of a fleet of 40 luxury Maserati cars to drive world leaders around during a summit next month, but has also assured the poor South Pacific island nation's taxpayers that they won't pay for the extravagance.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among dignitaries expected to attend the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the capital, Port Moresby, on Nov. 17 and 18.

Papua New Guinea APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko said in a statement Wednesday that the Maserati Quattroporte sedans, with a recommended retail price in the Unites States of $107,400, "are being committed to be paid for by the private sector."

Tkatchenko's office e did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for details.