Crime & Court

Eight Front Court For $400K Nasinu Town Council ‘Scam’

Accused with bribery and corrupt-related charges at council, all eight were bailed with a personal bond of $5000 each.
21 May 2020 10:01
Eight Front Court For $400K Nasinu Town Council ‘Scam’
Accused with bribery and corrupt-related charges at council, all eight were bailed with a personal bond of $5000 each.

The cash strapped Nasinu Town Council was subjected to a loss of more than $400,000 through an alleged procurement scam.

This was revealed in the Nasinu Magistrates Court yesterday as two former employees of Nasinu Town Council and six people, who were either directors or employees of private companies, were brought before the court charged with bribery and corruption related charges.

The charges were brought by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Pauliasi Bainivalu, a former information officer, is allegedly the key figure in the four separate cases brought before the court. He is charged in all the four matters that deal with charges brought about by his actions.

Bainivalu was charged with conspiracy to defraud – obtaining a gain, bribery, general dishonesty – causing a loss and destroying of evidence and is alleged to have caused purchases to be made based on falsified quotations and local purchase orders from various companies.

He is alleged to have solicited $116,177 and is alleged to have accepted $57,427.40 in bribes from 2014 to 2019 resulting in losses to the council.

In the first case, Bainivalu is charged alongside another former town council employee, Eliki Bula, Shiu Raman and Razia Bibi, directors of an information technology company called Innovative Technology.

Bainivalu is charged with conspiracy to dishonestly gain $370,000 from the Nasinu Town Council, Raman, Bibi and Bula are charged with bribery related offences.

In the second case, Bainivalu is charged with Remal Chand and Ranjani Chand who are directors of a company called Business Equipment.

The charges in this case relate to alleged exchange of money/bribes for services and contracts from Nasinu Town Council. In this case, the company directors are alleged to have given money to Bainivalu for exchange of contracts which would ensure payment to all parties.

In the third case, Bainivalu is charged with Vicky Vikash Kumar, director of Princeton. Here the charges relate to alleged bribery where money was paid to Bainivalu in exchange for contracts. Both Bainivalu and Kumar are alleged to have deprived Nasinu Town Council of more than $37,000.

In the fourth case, Bainivalu is alleged to have similar dealings with AK Investments and its director Diwakar Lal.

For the first case where the amount is $370,000, FICAC prosecutor Joseph Work told the court they would be making submissions to transfer the matter to the High Court.

Magistrate Charles Ratakele told Mr Work to ensure that the application was made before the next court date.

All accused were bailed with a personal bond of $5000 each and two sureties each who have to sign a bond of $5000 each. The accused have to report twice a week to their nearest Police station and surrender their travel documents.

The cases will be called again on June 23.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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