CRIME officers from the Fiji Police Force ended a two-day 'Proceeds of Crime: Follow the Money workshop' yesterday where they learnt the intricacies of money laundering and the process involved in making applications for restraining or forfeiting of assets to the high court.
Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Razim Buksh told the officers that because of the existence of money laundering and cyber-crime in the country, it was important they learnt and understood how to identify such crimes and the avenues available to investigate them.
Mr Buksh said 23 successful investigations so far into money laundering indicated the existence of the crime in the country and more training was needed for law enforcement officers to identify the illegal movement or concealment of money by individuals and organisations.
"We have successfully investigated 23 cases of which there have been a number of successful convictions," he said.
"The 23 investigations are indicative that money laundering activities are happening in Fiji and the successful cases we have disposed off suggest our investigators are becoming more capable of handling such criminal activity, however, more training like this workshop is needed," said Mr Buksh, adding that money laundering was difficult to investigate because of the complexities of the cases.
"It's very difficult for police investigators to look at a fraud case and at the same time, the money laundering side of the case so it is a challenge for us as policy makers and regulators to do the outreach and provide awareness and training so they can gain knowledge and skills to investigate more thoroughly the money laundering aspects of crime," he said.
The two-day workshop was opened by Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua and facilitated by legal consultant Nazhat Shameem.