Financial

Prime Fiji charged with forgery

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has filed charges against Prime Fiji Limited in the Magistrates Court of Suva on the 6th of June 2016. The company has been charged with one count of “Forgery” and one count of “Using Forged Document” under Section 156 (1) and 157(1) of the Crimes Decree 2009 respectively. […]

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June 7, 2016 5:24 pm

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has filed charges against Prime Fiji Limited in the Magistrates Court of Suva on the 6th of June 2016.

The company has been charged with one count of “Forgery” and one count of “Using Forged Document” under Section 156 (1) and 157(1) of the Crimes Decree 2009 respectively.

It is alleged that Prime Fiji Limited submitted Falsified Performance Security Bond of Westpac Bank amounting to FJ$351,865 to Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) while negotiating a street light renewal agreement with Fiji Roads Authority.

The Court has issued a summon to the Director of the Prime Fiji to appear at the Magistrates Court on the 12th of July 2016.

Prime Fiji Limited, a contractor to Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), is now under investigation.

FRA’s Acting CEO Mr. Rory Garland and the Minister for Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the press conference this afternoon. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)
FRA’s Acting CEO Mr Rory Garland and the Minister for Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the press conference this afternoon. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)

This was announced by the Attorney General and Minister of Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) Acting CEO Mr Rory Garland at a press conference this afternoon.

Two contracts were awarded to Prime Fiji Limited to provide rural street lighting throughout Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Minister Sayed-Khaiyum said that the issue was brought to their attention by the FRA management.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “One has come to our attention which was picked up by the FRA management, as you know as announced in the budget we have a program of carrying out village and rural street lighting throughout Viti Levu which will also commence in Vanua Levu soon.”

“We also have an ongoing contract of renewing street lighting in urban and peri-urban areas. Now there were two contracts that were given out to Prime Fiji Limited.”

“Prime Fiji at the moment holds another contract which is general maintenance of existing street lightings, and as part of a normally when a contract is awarded the performance bond that needs to be paid the successful applicant and that is successful winner of the tender.”

“So one of the village street lighting that was worth about $2.2million dollars was awarded to Prime which were expected to pay about pay about $222,000 as a performance bond and another street light renewals of about $3.5million which they were expected to pay $351,000 aproximately as perfomance bond.”

“Subsequently, what was discovered was the bonds themselves were fraudulent bonds.”

Fiji Roads Authority Acting CEO Mr. Rory Garland said FRA has cancelled the awards of the contracts and has referred the matter to FICAC.

GARLAND: ” When we receive bonds from contractors who are awarded contacts, we go through a series of checks on this. We check on the authenticity of the bonds and we found there were suspisions and that was the first hurdle in the process that we picked up and we raised this up issue with Westpac. They questioned for us the authenticity of the bonds and apparently they were fraudulent.”

“We cancelled the awards to those two contracts and we informed ADB as the financing body and we an on-going investigation. In addition we passed on a report to FICAC yesterday for this.”

“We do have the controls in place and this kind of cases will not get passed those controls.”

FRA Board member Mr. Sanjay Kaba assured the government that they were taking all the necessary actions to avoid it from happening again.

AG Sayed-Khaiyum said that it was of great concern to the government.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We will ensure that ensure that none of this behaviour goes unpunished or unreported. We cannot sweep this things under the carpet nor do we expect anyone to do so.”

The AG warned existing contractors of the government.

“Please do not do this. If you do this, you do not have any room to work with government nor do you have any room to operate in Fiji. We are working very hard to provide services to various villages and areas.”

Sayed-Khaiyum said they would be working with FRA in looking in other existing contracts currently held by Prime Fiji Limited.

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