4 Oct 2005

Fiji official jailed over agriculture ministry scam

4:18 pm on 4 October 2005

The Suva High Court has jailed a former senior Fiji agriculture ministry official, Sakiusa Bole, for three years after he was guilty of charges related to the multi-million dollar agriculture ministry scam.

Bole was convicted on five counts of fraudulent falsification of accounts amounting to 22,000 US dollars to buy farming equipment and defraud the government.

Radio Fiji reports that when passing sentence, Justice Nazhat Shameem said Bole breached the trust placed in him.

He was found to have signed false invoices in the name of a company known as Repina Wholesalers.

Justice Shameem said during the course of the trial evidence was given to show that the farming assistance scheme was riddled with abuse of office, mismanagement of funds and lack of accountability.

Justice Shameem said Bole defrauded his own employer by falsifying invoices intending to benefit Repina Wholesalers which was paid for goods which were never supplied.