PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has said notorious Australian conman Peter Foster was irrelevant to him.
"This guy is not even in Fiji. To me, he is irrelevant. Peter Foster is irrelevant in this country and it's not an issue with me," Commodore Bainimarama said in a telephone interview yesterday.
While his presence in the country continues to be questioned, the Fiji Police Force has not wasted any time in deploying its officers on the ground.
Chief of operations ACP Rusiate Tudravu said they had yet to receive an official request for assistance from Australian authorities but said as per internal procedures, a team had been set up to investigate the matter.
"The team is working into it. You know the capabilities. This man is a conman and he can do all these — it's a computer thing. We have discussed it and it's still in the early stage and I cannot divulge more. It might delay or distract our investigation," ACP Tudravu said.
"We can confirm that his name is on our watch list and we have directed a team just to confirm the allegations of Peter Foster being in Fiji."
ACP Tudravu said they were still confirming with border police officers to confirm with their records.
He said while police were not following any leads, the force would rely on information from members of the public who might have spotted Foster.
"The only issue is that we will be relying much on the information that is out there with the members of the public.
"If he is here in Fiji, he must have been seen somewhere by some people that have known him or he must be somewhere in a hotel."
He said if claims by Foster that he's in the country was legitimate, those who assisted him would be investigated.
A spokesperson of the Australian Federal Police said yesterday the matter was with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as the lead agency conducting investigations.
"The only thing we can add from yesterday is that the AFP is assisting the ACCC, but for operational reasons we are unable to comment further," the spokesperson said.
Foster sent pictures of himself reading last Sunday's edition of The Sunday Times, and supposedly taken somewhere in Fiji, to the Gold Coast Bulletin to help prove his claims he was in the country.
In another picture, he was in front of a television.