25 May 2006

New Fiji ministers vow to probe alleged scams

2:11 pm on 25 May 2006

Two newly appointed Fiji Labour Party ministers in the multi-party cabinet say they will investigate scams which occurred in their ministries during the term of the former government.

The minister for agriculture, Gyani Nand, has told the Fiji Sun that he will address the 13-million US dollar agriculture scam which occurred in 2001.

The money was allegedly used to buy farm implements, fishing boats and engines for distribution to people in return for their votes.

Mr Nand says he will talk with ministry officials and find out more about the scam.

Meanwhile, the minister for curative health, Dr Gunasegran Gounder, has promised to investigate claims made by some applicants who wanted to enter the Fiji School of Nursing.

The students claim the former assistant minister for health, Tomasi Sauqaqa, demanded up to 1,800 US dollars each from about 60 of them and issued them acceptance letters but some were still refused admission.

The aggrieved applicants say they will lodge a complaint with Dr Gounder who says he will launch an investigation as soon as he has gathered enough information.