NEWS

More People Conned In Land Scam

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) said more than 80 people had so far been fooled, claiming $150,000 was deceptively obtained.
16 Aug 2020 11:01
More People Conned In Land Scam
A piece of land in Makoi that was allegedly sold illegaly by scammers. Photo: Wati Talebula

Squatters from Wailea Settlement in Vatuwaqa, Suva, were duped into giving $300 as lodging fees for lots of land in Makoi, Nasinu.

The list of people conned in the Makoi Land Sale Scam is getting longer.

The land in Makoi is being developed privately by K Bhindi Brothers Limited to resettle squatters from the Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa. The company owns the Nanuku land and have earmarked a major commercial project and to get their own back from illegal settlers, they are spending $12 million to resettle them.

The Ministry of Housing and Community Development is assisting by surveying Nanuku and identifying people who would get one of the available 200 lots, which would be developed properly.

The alleged mastermind in this matter is a resident of Nanuku, who had started approaching people as far back as last year.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) said more than 80 people had so far been fooled, claiming $150,000 was deceptively obtained.

Bhod Mati, 54, of Wailea said the individual came to her house in March last year.

“He took $300 from me, my daughter and there were four other women. He took our Tax Identification Number and said this was our lodgement fee which would secure the land,” she said.

Ms Mati said the individual came to them last week and told them the reports in the news media were not related to him or the Makoi land.

She said he told them that the office space mentioned in the article in the Fiji Sun was not his as he had leased out the property.

It has been uncovered that the individual and an alleged accomplice took $4000 as down payment for the Makoi land and issued receipts with a forged stamp from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Pushpa Nair, 59, paid $4000 and was given a receipt. She came to know of the land sales from an acquaintance who had also purchased the land.

She said she was told $4000 was for first payment and $3000 to be paid later as goodwill.

She said money was collected from her house compared to some people who travelled to the duos office in Nausori.

FICAC has started investigations. Stop departure orders have also been issued. Nobody has been charged yet.
Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedbackshalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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