NATION

Man Jailed For Embezzlement

People who breach public trust need to be dealt with severe sentences to denounce their behaviour, says Suva Magistrate ShageethSomaratne. Magistrate Somaratne said this would also send a stern clear
08 Nov 2016 11:00
Man Jailed For Embezzlement
Fiji Police

People who breach public trust need to be dealt with severe sentences to denounce their behaviour, says Suva Magistrate ShageethSomaratne.

Magistrate Somaratne said this would also send a stern clear message for others who contemplate of committing these offences in the future.

He made the statement while sentencing a former postal assistant at Post Fiji Limited Mail Centre in Laucala Beach, Nasinu, to 24 months imprisonment.

Semi Namaraulu, 54, was jailed for two counts of embezzlement by officer at Post Office, following a guilty plea.

On the first count, several items were seized from Namaraulu’s residence in Nausori after an investigating team from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption escorted the accused and conducted a search at his home.

On the second count, Namaraulu embezzled three sealed postal packages belonging to one Ronal Laal, Shalvin Kumar and Frangel Chipongian in the course of the transmission by post.

While passing sentence, Magistrate Somaratne told Namaraulu that he had breached the trust of the public and brought disrepute to his institution including its other employees.

“Post Fiji Limited employed you in their service and allowed you to handle the mails and valuable items of their customer’s based on trust,” he said.

“By indulging in these crimes you have breached that trust reposed on you by your employer.

“Public in this country handling their mails and valuable items to Post Officers hoping that they would reach their addresses. They trust not only the Post Fiji, but their employees also hoping they would do their job diligently and honestly.”

Magistrate Somaratne said Namaraulu’s actions directly affected his employer and would also affect the job security of fellow employees.

“When the people start losing confidence for the Post Fiji, they would turn to alternative methods to dispatch mails which affect the income of that place,” he said.

Magistrate Somaratne however did not consider the mitigating factors that Namaraulu was married with four children, presently unemployed and the items had been recovered.

Namaraulu was given a non-parole period of 14 months imprisonment.

He has 28 days to appeal.

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