22 Sep 2004

Fiji police allegedly accepted bribes in agriculture scam

4:26 pm on 22 September 2004

The deputy commissioner of police in Fiji and other top officers are being accused of taking bribes.

The former head of a fraud probe says his investigation had found that Moses Driver and other officers had taken bribes.

Inspector Nasir Ali says police officers took bribes of cash, goods and liquor in relation to an investigation into the 13-million US dollar agriculture scam.

Inspector Ali says he was taken off the case after he found that some police officers had taken bribes.

He alleges high-level involvement.

"It goes up to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Moses Driver. He's been involved in trying to suppress, because the chairman of the public service commission was approached by the supplier company, the owner of the prime suspect in our case, for his allowing us to stop departure with immigration, so he can go to Australia. And the chairman then rang the director of CID, and Moses Driver was the supervising officer at the time."

Meanwhile, police have denied the allegations.

The police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, says although Inspector Ali has been replaced, the matter will be adequately investigated.

It's a storm in a tea cup. Something that should have been dealt with internally. The police can now give an assurance to the public that investigations will continue. We have moved offices. We have moved the files. We have moved the evidence. The new team is on the block, and they are carrying out from where Inspector Ali left off.