NATION

How JP Helped Reveal The Makoi Land Scam

Justice of Peace, Gaitri Prakash, raised the alarm when a woman contacted her about her sister paying $1000 as a deposit for the land.
08 Aug 2020 10:32
How JP Helped Reveal The Makoi Land Scam
Justice of Peace Gaitri Prakash at Nanuku Street in Vatuwaqa on August 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A man alleged to have been an accomplice in the Makoi land scam claims he was receiving as much as $200 as commission for each fake sale.

In a recording of a conversation between the alleged accomplice, and a woman keen on exposing the scam, the man said the money he had received as commission was being transferred to his bank account.

The land scam has duped more than 80 people who have collectively paid more than $150,000 in order to purchase land which was not for sale.

The land is a private property, and is being developed to relocate the Nanuku squatters in Vatuwaqa. Furthermore, the scammers allegedly used the name of the Minister for Housing Premila Kumar, and newspaper articles to con people.

Justice of Peace, Gaitri Prakash, raised the alarm when a woman contacted her about her sister paying $1000 as a deposit for the land. She called the woman to her office and looked at the receipt given to them. She then realised that it was a scam.

She contacted the Ministry of Housing who then notified the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

FICAC has asked people who have been scammed to come forward and contact them.

“I called up one of the people involved and asked him to explain himself because what he was doing was illegal and immoral,” Ms Prakash said.

“I felt bad for those people who had paid money for land that does not exist.”

According to the recording of the conversation, the man claimed that an older man who resided in Nanuku Settlement was the alleged mastermind. He said he was instructed to sell the land, and he would get a commission. He genuinely thought that the whole operation was legitimate.

The man said the money was being deposited into his account as advised by the alleged mastermind.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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