Man convicted of bribery awaits fate

Picture:SUPPLIED.

A former tax officer with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) was convicted of bribery by the Suva Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Pritam Singh was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2015 with one count of bribery for accepting $1200 in cash and $6300 in cheque from a businessman.

At the time of the offence, he was employed as a tax officer with the FRCS and had solicited the bribe for assisting the businessman to clear his purported tax.

He was arrested by a FICAC official while receiving the bribe which amounted to $7500 and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

During trial, the prosecution exhibited several audio and video recordings which captured the demand and receipt of the bribe from the businessman.

He also gave evidence in court. While delivering the judgment, magistrate Deepika Prakash said prosecution proved each element of the offence beyond reasonable doubt and found him guilty as charged.

Singh was also recorded saying to the businessman that it was better to pay $21,000 than $100,000 when referring to the audit process and how much would supposedly have to be paid by the businessman which further proved that Singh was willing to digress from his official duties and responsibilities if he received the money.

The matter has been adjourned to November 11, 2020, for sentencing and mitigation submissions.

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