21 Jul 2003

Fiji police reportedly consider mass arrest over agriculture ministry scam

2:10 pm on 21 July 2003

Fiji cabinet ministers, senior and mid-level public servants, company executives and individuals are among about 40 people likely to be arrested and charged for their role in the 13-million US dollar agriculture ministry scam.

The Daily Post says this has been revealed by the director of criminal investigations, Senior Superintendent Emosi Vunisa.

It quotes Mr Vunisa as saying police investigations so far have revealed collusion between executives of hardware companies and public servants to defraud the government.

This was done through the use of forged quotations, fictitious and inflated invoices, and non-compliance with government procedures.

In return government officials were rewarded with cash, liquor and vehicles as well as building materials.

Mr Vunisa says police files will go to the director of public prosecutions whose office will lay the charges.

He has warned senior public servants engaged in or contemplating corrupt practices or white collar crime to abandon such practices.