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Australia Job Scam Accused Refused Bail

Australia Job Scam Accused Refused Bail
Lepani Raikula...Police said black eyes from people he allegedly scammed. Photo: Charles Chambers
June 03
10:30 2017

A man who allegedly conned people to pay him $1600 and promised them jobs in Australia was yesterday remanded by the Lautoka Magistrates Court.

Lepani Raikula, 32, of Natabua Seaside in Lautoka, appeared before Magistrate Rangajeewa Wimalasema, spotting two black eyes.

Police prosecutor Corporal Theordore Lew told the court that Raikula suffered facial injuries from members of the public whom he allegedly scammed.

Three separate cases presented in court by the prosecution alleged that Raikula had obtained financial advantage by deception totalling $4600 from three different people.

In the first case, Raikula is alleged to have obtained $1600 from Semi Nadakaibitu between October 10, 2016 and May 19 this year after he had promised him work in Australia.

In the second case, Raikula is alleged to have obtained $1500 from Ana Maria Nailatikau during the same period for the same reason.

In the third case, Raikula is alleged to have obtained $1500 from Sereana Lewanakovu, 40. Corporal Lew told the court that Raikula had approached Ms Lewanakovu and told her he was a travel consultant based at the Nadi International Airport. He allegedly promised her work in Australia telling her he had dealings with a company based in Sydney who wanted to recruit workers from Fiji.

She was asked to submit her passport, a birth certificate, two passport size photos and the $1500 fee, which could be paid in instalments.

Raikula is alleged to have obtained $350 on October 18, 2016 from Lewanakovu; $600 on November 2, 2016, and $550 on March 6, 2017.

The court heard Raikula allegedly told Ms Lewanakovu that her visa was approved and she was to wait at Nadi International Airport on May 27.

Ms Lewanakovu was allegedly told her flight was at 9am on that day and she was presented with a fake flight itinerary.

Corporal Lew also objected to bail saying it was for Raikula’s own safety because he had already been beaten by victims of the alleged scam.

Raikula’s lawyer Litiana Volau of the Legal Aid Commission also concurred with prosecution.

The case has been adjourned to July 3, to hear Ms Lewanakovu’s case and for mention on the first two cases.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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