30 Sep 2004

Fiji auditor general gives police names of ministers and public servants suspected of fraud

10:35 am on 30 September 2004

Fiji's auditor general has, for the first time ever, referred the abuse of millions of dollars in state funds by cabinet ministers and public servants to the police for investigation.

Eroni Vatuleka's action is seen as a move to discipline or lay criminal charges against those implicated in his latest report tabled in parliament this week.

Among many instances of abuse, Mr Vatuleka has cited the minister for multi-ethic affairs, George Shiu Raj, for colluding with a travel agent to defraud the state by flying economy class when his ministry paid for business class travel.

A Suva travel agent was found to have issued a fraudulent business class travel invoice.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has confirmed receiving the auditor general's letter.

He says the Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the complaints.