CID to handle probe

Crowds ask for numbers from a police station during a HomesCare distribution programme at Lautoka's Shirley Park. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

POLICE have confi rmed that those found intentionally giving false statements on their CARE for Fiji forms would be investigated by its Criminal and Intelligence  Department.Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu said a team would be headed by the director CID Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mesake Waqa. He said inquiries would begin once cases were referred to them from the Ministry of Economy.

In a statement released last week, the Ministry of Economy confirmed that a grace period would be given to ineligible applicants to return MPAISA cards.

“Audit teams from the Ministry of Economy are undertaking random verifications and spot checks for households and individuals and several cases of suspected abuse have already been referred to the Fiji Police
Force for investigation. Those Fijians who were not affected by TC Josie or TC Keni, but who have already applied and received assistance under the CARE for Fiji programs will be granted amnesty until May 27, 2018 to return their electronic cards, or any other form of assistance received to government officials.

“The amnesty period applies for all ineligible recipients under FARMSCARE, HOMES-CARE, eTRANSPORT-CARE, LEASEHOLDERSCARE and SUGARCANE-CARE. During this amnesty period, electronic cards that
have already been spent by an ineligible recipient must also be repaid in full. Abuse of CARE for Fiji programs can include, but is not limited to, misrepresentation on application forms, members of the same household attempting to separately register for the same assistance program, the re-selling of assistance materials, or the spending of electronic cards at unauthorised vendors.”

According to Government, the maximum penalty for falsifying information includes a $20,000 fine and a 10-year imprisonment

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