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Enforcement agencies probe intelligence cases

Filipe Naigulevu
Monday, October 30, 2017

A TOTAL of 95 intelligence case reports totalling $128 million were provided to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) last year.

Fiji FIU director Razim Buksh said these cases involved several hundred financial transactions and bank accounts for possible tax evasion.

Mr Buksh said another 58 intelligence case reports involving $81.3m were also provided to the Fiji Police Force for possible money laundering, unexplained wealth, fraud and other predicate offence cases.

"The FIU has issued numerous disseminations to law enforcement agencies to investigate money laundering and proceeds of crime," Mr Buksh said.

"As a result of FIU's collaboration with law enforcement agencies, we have seen many cases which have been successfully investigated and prosecuted, including money laundering, fraud, corruption, human and drug trafficking, theft and tax evasion.

"There have also been numerous requests from law enforcement agencies for financial background checks and tracing of proceeds of crime linked to ongoing money laundering, proceeds of crime and fraud investigations."

According to Fiji FIU's investigation and profiling in 2016, a total of 748 cases including 1035 individuals and 388 entities were investigated and profiled for suspicious transactions.

"We have put in measures at national and institutional level to ensure the protection of the Fijian financial system, businesses and Fijian people from the abuse by criminals, and money launderers," Mr Buksh said.

Money laundering is criminalised under the Proceeds of Crime Act with a penalty of 20 years maximum imprisonment or $120,000 maximum fine or both if the offender is a natural person.

A maximum fine of $600,000 will be issued for corporate bodies involved in this criminal act.

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