1 Apr 2005

Fiji PM confirms receiving police corruption allegations

8:35 am on 1 April 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has confirmed receiving a report containing allegations of corrupt practices within the top hierarchy of the police force.

The Daily Post says the report, compiled by suspended officer Inspector Nasir Ali, was addressed to President Iloilo and copied to the prime minister, foreign diplomatic missions and others.

Mr Qarase says he will study the report and make a comment later.

In his 200-page report, Inspector Nasir Ali alleges collusion between some top police officers and the directors of companies involved in the US$13 million agriculture ministry scam.

The report says certain senior officers had successfully sought the removal of Inspector Ali as the lead detective in the scam investigation and how the same officers had sought to protect the directors of two hardware companies.

They had also helped one of the directors implicated in the scam to flee the country.

In his report, Inspector Ali asks why none of the hardware company directors and ministers of the former interim administration implicated in the scam has charged.

The opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the allegations are serious and if nothing is done, he will write to President Iloilo asking for a judicial commission of inquiry.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has declined to comment.