NEWS

Big Fraud Probe

  Police have started investigations on how three local companies were allegedly defrauded by a group allegedly presenting fake cheques or remittance order. The alleged fraudsters have cost at least
16 Dec 2018 14:04
Big Fraud Probe
In one of the known cases, a man reached out to a spare parts company in the Western Division, allegedly pretending to be an employee of a reputable civil engineering company. He ordered parts of more than $68,040, which was allegedly paid by two fake cheques – one totalling $11,500 and the second totalling $56,540.

 

Police have started investigations on how three local companies were allegedly defrauded by a group allegedly presenting fake cheques or remittance order.

The alleged fraudsters have cost at least three local tyres and spare parts companies hundreds of thousands of dollars by allegedly presenting fake cheques created to be seen coming from reputable companies.

Director Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Mesake Waqa confirmed to the Fiji Sun they were now investigating one group who may have pulled off these alleged daring crimes with a level of sophistication.

The case:

“We are currently investigating reports of a group who have allegedly defrauded three companies. The Organised Crime Unit from the CID Headquarters will be overseeing the investigations as we have received reports in the West and Southern divisions,” Director Waqa said.

“The transactions have been meticulously conducted and shows a level of sophistication in the manner the online crimes were allegedly committed. We would urge members of the public and the business community to verify transactions thoroughly with the chosen supplier before committing to large financial transactions.

“Investigations are ongoing and we urge anyone who requires further information or has doubts to call the Deputy Director of the Organised Crime Unit on 9905707.

“We’ve noted a trend whereby the cheques are produced to the supplier mostly on Saturdays since it’s a short trading day.

“And the delivery of goods is either done on Saturday afternoons or Sunday.

“So, by the time the supplier takes the cheque to be cleared on a Monday, the goods have been moved by the suspects and this is something readers can also look out for particularly with large sums involved.”

Examples of some of the cheques, exchanges made

Examples of some of the cheques, exchanges made

How the group pulled it off:

In one of the known cases, a man reached out to a spare parts company in the Western Division, allegedly pretending to be an employee of a reputable civil engineering company. He ordered parts of more than $68,040, which was allegedly paid by two fake cheques – one totalling $11,500 and the second totalling $56,540.

Employees of the spare parts company delivered two separate truckloads of spare parts at a warehouse, which was previously owned by the civil engineering company, but was not in use for the past two years.

When the spare parts company attempted to deliver a few articles, which were left to be delivered, they could not get through to the man who issued the two cheques. A visit to the civil engineering company revealed that the articles had not been ordered by them, not received by them and no cheques had been issued.

Photographs of the cheques sighted by the Fiji Sun (published above) showed an almost authentic looking cheque.

In the second case, a man claiming to run a spare parts company in Viti Levu allegedly ordered parts from a man in Labasa. The payment was to be made online.

An email of an international bank operating locally was created and a fake remittance order was sent showing that payment had been received for goods costing more than $100,000. Two separate remittances were sent in and the items were dispatched.

Before the Labasa based businessman realised that the email account was fake, the goods had already been picked up in Viti Levu.

In the third case, a known tyre company was also defrauded to the tune of $50,000 after a bank cheque was allegedly faked and presented to them.

 

Financial Intelligence Unit:

Director of the Unit Razim Buksh has already issued warnings that the local business community needed to be aware that there was a syndicate out in public operating and defrauding companies.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedbackjyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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