October 15, 2012

Police probe TLTB scam

October 14, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

It has been agreed that the Fiji Police Force’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will investigate an alleged scam uncovered by the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB).

TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki confirmed to Fiji Sun that on Friday they had a preliminary discussion with the CID about the alleged scam.

He also clarified that the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) would be leaving the matter with the Serious Fraud Unit of the Police Force.

“TLTB has been informed that the Commission might be able to begin investigations in the first quarter of next year if the case is left with them,” Mr Qetaki said.

“The Commission had discussed the case with the Serious Fraud Unit of the Police Force and had agreed that the investigation be carried out by the CID.”

Based on their internal investigation concerning the alleged scam two staff members were investigated and have been suspended.

“They were found to have breached their terms and conditions of employment and have been sacked from September 27, 2012.”

So far, three staff have terminated and the three others who were on suspension have been cleared by the investigation and have resumed work on October 8.

He said any breach of trust, confidence, regulations and rules by staff was a serious matter.

“This amounts to a breach of the terms and conditions of employment.

There are checks and protective mechanisms in the system and there is also the question of dishonesty and collusion.”

The TLTB general manager confirmed that the funds affected were insured and would be recovered.

Meanwhile, FICAC was utterly disappointed with the erroneous and misleading information published online by Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and Fiji Live on the report titled ‘FICAC Withdraws from TLTBCase’ and ‘FICAC withdraws from investigating TLTB theft’ respectively.

FICAC wishes to inform the public that they did not withdraw from the case.

The fact is, the case was referred to the Police in the first place and since it was revealed that Police had commenced investigation into the same case, it was decided not to investigate the matter to avoid any duplicity.

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