31 Mar 2005

Fiji police deny probing minister over travel abuse

1:48 pm on 31 March 2005

Fiji police say reports that they are investigating allegations of corruption against a cabinet minister and public servants in his ministry are premature.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the police are yet to receive a formal complaint about any such matter from the Auditor General, Eroni Vatuleka.

However he says he's aware that Mr Vatuleka is looking into further possible corruption involving overseas air travel.

"I do know that the Auditor General has stated publicly that there are a number of other prominent public officials under investigation for what they call travel rorts."

The former chief executive officer of the Labour Ministry, Brian Singh, and a former cabinet minister, George Shiu Raj, are facing trial on corruption charges relating to travel.

The charges relate to Mr Raj travelling overseas by economy class when the state paid for business class travel and pocketing the difference.

Both men are charged with false pretenses and obtaining money by deception.