NATION

Two Plead Not Guilty

Two former employees of the then Department of National Roads have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges involving a scam of more than $3million. The fourth and fifth accused,
18 Apr 2015 09:53
Two Plead Not Guilty
Vijay Prasad and Aisea Liwaiono. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

Two former employees of the then Department of National Roads have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges involving a scam of more than $3million.

The fourth and fifth accused, Aisea Liwaiono and Vijay Prasad, who are alleged to have been associated with a scam involving a businessman and two former workers of the then Department of National Roads appeared before Justice Priyantha Fernando yesterday.

The pair, between February 1 and April 30, 2012 at Ba while being employed with Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), allegedly dishonestly caused a risk of loss to FRA by falsely verifying the statement of invoice dated December 31, 2010 amounting to $95, 773.52 and supporting documents for T.F.Jan Bulldozing Company Limited knowing that there is a substantial risk of loss to FRA.

During the same time Liwaiono dishonestly caused a risk of loss to FRA by falsely verifying the statements of invoice respectively dated December 31, 2010, April 4, 2012 and April 16, 2012 amounting to a total sum of $315, 417.60 and supporting documents of T.F.Jan Bulldozing Company Limited.

Meanwhile, businessman Feroz Jan Mohammed, Iliesa Turagacati and Navitalai Tamanitoakula are facing charges of bribery, obtaining a financial advantage and abuse of office. The three accused also deny the charge.

It is alleged that between February 27 and July 2012, Mr Mohammed, a director of TF Jan Bulldozing Company Ltd, offered payments amounting to $110,100 to Mr Turagacati, who was a public servant employed as an acting project accountant in the then Department of National Roads.

It is also alleged that in that same period, Mr Mohammed and his company obtained a financial advantage amounting to more than $3m by receiving money.

Tamanitoakula, who was the senior accounts officer of Fiji Roads Authority, is also alleged to have abused the authority of his office, did an arbitrary act in processing payments amounting to $2.468 million to TF Jan Bulldozing without following proper procedures. The total amount involved was $3.17 million.

The next court appearance is on April 27 when all five accused will be present for trial to begin before Justice Paul Madigan.

 

 

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