Director identifies 3 in $40k robbery case

A DIRECTOR of Veejay Enterprises in Navua identified the three men in open court who allegedly robbed him of more than $40,000 worth of cash and cheques on April 2, 2013.

The trial of Tevita Gonevou, Joeli Soqali and Petero Tuivakalea began in the High Court in Suva on Wednesday before Justice Sailosi Temo.

Chandeshwaran Goundar, who was the first prosecution witness to give evidence, revealed in his examination in chief that on the morning of the alleged incident, he had gone to bank the Easter weekend takings at BSP Pacific Harbour.

He said there were three bags in the company vehicle that contained more than $110,000 worth of cash and cheques, which were to be deposited that day.

At Pacific Harbour, he got out of the vehicle to open the front passenger seat, where company clerk Doreen Lata was sitting with the bags. He took one of the bags while Ms Lata held onto the other two bags.

Just then, he saw a man wearing a hat walking towards him, his eyes fixed on the bag, which he later tried to snatch from him.

Mr Goundar said they got into a scuffle. He said one of the accused person’s hat fell off and he saw his face. He said a man from the crowd approached them and told him to leave the bag.

Mr Goundar testified that he was hit with a rock on his head when he refused. He added, he then released the bag that contained more than $40,000.

He identified Mr Tuivakalea as the man who tried to snatch the bag from him, and Mr Soqali as his assailant.

He also identified Mr Gonevou who had offered to take him to Navua Hospital but he refused.

When cross examined by Mr Gonevou’s lawyer, Samanunu Vaniqi, Mr Goundar said he did not tell the police of his encounter with Mr Gonevou.

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