18 Nov 2011

Fiji extortion claims will be investigated if AG receives complaint

10:55 am on 18 November 2011

The office of the Attorney-General in Fiji says it will conduct a thorough investigation, if the American businessman who claims he was the victim of extortion, submits an official complaint.

Ken Honig says he was forced last week to pay 22,000 US dollars to officials at Fiji's Biosecurity Authority in order to leave the country after he was earlier accused of importing a species of iguana into Fiji.

Mr Honig says he was able to leave Fiji on Friday after the High Court issued an order for his release.

He says the Authority's CEO and legal officer told him his problems would go away if he paid money.

The CEO Elvis Silvestrini released a statement yesterday, saying the claim was outrageous.

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, says the government has enacted a number of laws to clean up the corruption of the past and says the claims will be investigated if Mr Honig submits a complaint.