23 Dec 2003

Senior Fiji fisheries official taped allegedly accepting a bribe

11:55 am on 23 December 2003

A report from Fiji says a senior fisheries official has been caught red-handed accepting money in return for issuing fishing licenses.

Radio Fiji says the official was paid twelve thousand US dollars privately by an Asian representative of a Chinese-owned New Zealand company on a Saturday - an incident which was recorded on tape and documented.

The company was declared bankrupt in New Zealand, was dealt with for tax evasion and is alleged to be operating illegally in Fiji.

Radio Fiji says the company is in the process of finalising a business deal with an indigenous Fijian province.

The committee of which the senior official is a member will meet in Suva today to determine the allocation of fishing licenses for next year.