Financial

Another person appears in court over FNPF TC Winston assistance scheme

A 42-year-old woman charged with one count of obtaining property by deception has been granted bail. It is alleged that Leapania Lawavau conspired with Rachel Matakibau, a former FNPF employee charged earlier.  Lawavau appeared at the Suva Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. Lawavau was granted bail application and her sureties were told to pay $500 and Magistrate […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

May 24, 2016 4:01 pm

A 42-year-old woman charged with one count of obtaining property by deception has been granted bail.

Lapenia Lawau at the magistrate court this afernoon (Salote Qalabau/ Nedwswire)
Leapenia Lawavau at the magistrate court this afternoon. (Salote Qalabau/ Newswire).

It is alleged that Leapania Lawavau conspired with Rachel Matakibau, a former FNPF employee charged earlier.  Lawavau appeared at the Suva Magistrate’s Court this afternoon.

Lawavau was granted bail application and her sureties were told to pay $500 and Magistrate Liyanage told Lawavau not to travel overseas until the case is disclosed.

Rachel Matakibau was also granted bail and told to report to the Nabua police station between 6am-6pm once a week.

Matakibau and Lawavau will reappear in court on 13th July, 2016.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story has said Leapania Lawavau was a former FNPF employee. This was incorrect and the story has been updated.

Earlier Today: More charges to be laid against former FNPF employee

A woman who is alleged to have obtained cheques worth $15,600 approved for Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) members assistance post-TC Winston appeared before the Suva Magistrate Court this morning.

Rachael Likutabua Matakibau at the Suva Magistrate court this morning. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
Rachael Likutabua Matakibau at the Suva Magistrate court this morning. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Rachael Likutabua Matakibau who was employed as a customer service officer at the FNPF appeared before Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage.

Matakibau was charged with four counts of obtaining property by deception.

Police prosecutor Corporal Luke Qerewaqa is expected to lay new charges at 2.45pm.

A woman in her 30s who is a former employee of FNPF has been charged with four counts of obtaining property by deception.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the accused is alleged to have cashed cheques intended for recipients of the Fund’s Cyclone Winston Assistance initiative amounting to $15,600.

Meanwhile, the second investigation regarding a similar incident continues.

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has terminated a staff member who is now under police investigation for cashing members’ cheques.

The Fund’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Jaoji Koroi, said the staff concerned was suspended last week whilst internal investigation were also conducted.

KOROI: “Yesterday, we have terminated the staff concerned, who will now also face the full brunt of the law. The Fund takes seriously its fiduciary duties to our members and we have had to act immediately to safeguard our members’ interest.”

Mr. Koroi confirmed that all member payments have been honoured by the Fund.

KOROI: “We would like to assure our members that all payments due to them will be paid out. “This is an unfortunate and isolated incident, and it does not reflect the continued commitment by the FNPF Board and Staff to protect and safeguard members’ hard-earned retirement savings.”

Mr. Koroi also confirmed that there are two other incidents involving members of the public who impersonated members to collect cheques from FNPF.

KOROI: “We reiterate that the Fund has completely reviewed our cheque collection process to ensure that all cheques are paid to the rightful owners/members. We call on members to uplift their TC Winston assistance cheques as there are more than 2000 uncollected cheques still with the Fund.”

“We also urge all our members to open a bank account to enable us to electronically transfer payments from the Fund to their personal accounts as this is a more convenient mode of payment.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that the case is currently being investigated.

NAISORO: “Yes we have received two cases, one was on the 27th and one was on the 29th which alleged two employees tried to cash the cheques amounting up to $20,000. The first one was $15,000 and the second one was $5,000.”

“We are just waiting for some more documents from FNPF, ACP Luke Navela has instructed that we get things done so that we can proceed to questioning of the suspects.”

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