7 Jun 2004

Fiji Government official suspended as corruption enquiry continues

3:34 pm on 7 June 2004

Fiji's director of fisheries, Maciu Lagibalavu, has been suspended following a cabinet-ordered inquiry into allegations of corruption.

The corruption involved the issuing of licences for tuna fishing.

Last year there were more than twice the number of tuna licences issued than what is required for a sustainable catch in Fiji's waters.

The Public Service Commission has laid nine charges against Mr Lagibalavu who was put on half pay after his suspension.

The chief executive of the commission, Anare Jale, says Mr Lagibalavu has 14 days in which to answer the charges before "the appropriate penalty" is meted out.

Police have confirmed that they are carrying out a separate investigation into Mr Lagibalavu.

The Fiji government tightened up on the issuing of fisheries licences earlier this year.