Magistrate moves $4.1m fraud case to High Court
19 July, 2019, 10:15 am
THE case of suspended Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) director Shameem Khan will now be heard in the High Court.
This follows a ruling by Magistrate Deepika Prakash yesterday for the case to be transferred to the High Court after a motion filed by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).
Mr Khan is charged by FICAC with a count each of abuse of office and general dishonesty causing loss.
It is alleged that between January 1, 2016, and May 5, 2017, while employed by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service as the chief ethical standard unit officer and the director intelligence, compliance and investigations, Mr Khan prepared an investigation report with false contents, preventing FRCS in obtaining revenue in the sum of $4,118,994.08.
He was also alleged to have dishonestly caused a risk of loss to the FRCS in the sum $4,118,994.08 during the same period.
Ms Prakash said prosecution had stated that the matter was a serious fraud case and contained multiple complex legal and factual issues which involved the issuance of a Tax Free Region Licence and breaches of the FRCS rules and regulations as one of the reasons for the case to be heard in the High Court.
She said the accused held a senior position in the institution he was employed in and the amount involved was more than $4.1 million.
She added the maximum penalty for abuse of office was 17 years imprisonment, seven years more than the sentencing jurisdiction of a magistrate.
She ruled that the court therefore found this was an appropriate case for the High Court to deal with given the seriousness of the offence and the amount involved and the high public office held by the accused.
She gave 28 days for the defence to appeal the ruling. Mr Khan’s bail has been extended.
He will appear before the High Court in Suva on August 1.