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Eight alleged fraudsters plead not guilty

September 11, 2019 12:45 pm

Eight people pleaded not guilty to defrauding the Fiji National Provident Fund of over $49,000 before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili this morning.

A former employee of FNPF Jack Edward Hiramatsu, former clerk of i-Taukei Land Trust Board Rufina Qaranivalu, Taniela Samutitoga, Temo Tuilailai, Vereti Sawaqa, Salote Caraqeti, Mereoni Drawe and Milio Rayawa were in court this morning.

The alleged offenses occurred between March and April, this year.

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Defence lawyers for the eight accused told the court they will need more time, to file voir dire grounds and to make representations.

Hiramatsu is charged with four more counts of forgery while Qaranivalu is charged with one count of forgery.

It is alleged that Hiramastu made a false valuation report while Qaranivalu made a false certificate of title to obtain a gain.

Tuilailai, Raiyawa, Drawe, Sawaqa, and Caraqeti are charged with one count each of using the forged documents and one count each of obtaining financial advantage by deception, as they allegedly posed as prospective buyers of the land written under Samutitoga.

It is alleged they used a forged certificate of title to induce team leader housing withdrawal at FNPF, to accept it as genuine with the intent to receive forty-nine thousand three hundred dollars as a withdrawal for housing assistance.

It’s alleged the money was shared amongst the accused persons.

Hiramatsu and Qaranivalu are further remanded while five others are on bail.

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