Fijian involved in stolen vehicle scam between Fiji and New Zealand
January 10, 2019 4:01 pm
A Fijian is believed to be involved in a highly connected network which has the intention of making money from proceeds of criminal activity.
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service has cracked on a transaction aimed at importing stolen vehicles for the purpose of sale.
Chief executive Visvanath Das says over the past week two motor vehicles that were reported stolen in New Zealand were smuggled into Fiji under the guise of spare parts and furniture.
Das says however, this criminal activity did not make it past the Custom Officers at the Lautoka Wharf.
Interestingly, interceptions of the same nature were also made by Customs officers in 2018 for stolen vehicles imported from Australia.
In the most recent incident, investigations revealed that a Toyota Hilux which was registered as a rental car in New Zealand was reported stolen on December 8th 2017, while a Nissan Navara which registered as a private vehicle in New Zealand was reported stolen on the 4th of last month.
The accused importer is reported to be a frequent traveller and is known to have travelled to New Zealand between the 7th and 12th of last month.
This is a few days after the vehicle was reported stolen.
The shipment left Auckland on December 20th a week after the suspect returned to Fiji to clear his consignment.
Das reiterates that Border Security is serious business and a collaborative approach is being taken with both local border agencies and international Customs Administrations globally to crack down on illegal activities.
He warns the Service is committed to facilitate trade, however, with the processes, systems and partnerships in place they will detect and intercept illegal activities and offenders will face the full brunt of the law.