22 Aug 2007

Fiji police investigating alleged flood assistance scam

10:21 am on 22 August 2007

Fiji police have begun investigating a scam involving the distribution of government assistance to flood victims in the country's northern division early this year.

The police are following up a special investigation report which found that 366 people not eligible for assistance were paid a total of over 70-thousand US dollars.

The report revealed that 1,100 people who were genuine flood victims and whose names were approved by the cabinet for assistance, did not receive any because of the scam.

Other findings of the report include forged signatures involving double payments and cheques given to other parties without the approval of the people for whom they were meant.

As well, some people were given cash assistance who were not staying at the residential addresses they provided.

A senior police officer based in the Northern Division, Assistance Superintendent Luke Rawalai, says police have started taking statements from victims of the scam.