21 Sep 2006

Former Suva Lord Mayor in court on tax evasion charges

10:01 am on 21 September 2006

A prominent Fiji businessman and former Lord Mayor of the capital city has gone on trial in the Suva magistrate's court charged with tax evasion.

Dhansukh Lal Bhika has been charged with ten counts of tax evasion amounting to 300-thousand US dollars in returns filed with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority in July 2003.

The prosecution alleges that Bhika deliberately omitted certain income from the tax returns of his company, Suncourt Hardware, with the intention of evading tax liabilities.

The leader of the state team which audited the company's accounts, Dora Traill, said, as managing director, Bhika should be held responsible for the record keeping system maintained by the company.

Bhika is alleged to have benefited by an amount of 300-thousand dollars by his actions.

The trial will continue today with more witnesses appearing.