INTERIM Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama met tax officials in August and was advised to start an audit to determine the source of funds invested by Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.
Documents made available to The Fiji Times state that Commodore Bainimarama was briefed on the need to identify the source of about $A1.6million ($F2.23m) deposited in Mr Chaudhry's off-shore accounts. After the meeting, the senior tax officials were advised to take the matter to police. A letter to Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni on August 23 outlined the concerns raised with the interim PM.
The letter was signed by former FIRCA general manager Risk and Compliance Joseva Leano and former chief auditor Risk and Compliance Lepani Rabo.
Yesterday, Mr Rabo confirmed signing the letter and said he met Commodore Bainimarama and Sir James Ah Koy to discuss the matter. "I initially approached the interim Prime Minister and he told me to take the matter to Teleni," Mr Rabo said.
"I wrote to the Police Commissioner on August 16 and offered to do a full audit for the police to help them investigate the matter."
Mr Rabo said FIRCA records showed Mr Chaudhry first failed to lodge his tax returns between 2001 and 2003. When the returns were sent in for assessment by FIRCA, Mr Chaudhry did not declare income earned on investments in Australia from 2001 to 2003.
In 2004, FIRCA's income matching unit found anomalies in Mr Chaudhry's tax records and did an audit which led to re-assessment of his income.
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