15 Jan 2005

Fiji police charge travel agent over ministerial scam

8:12 am on 15 January 2005

Police in Fiji have arrested and charged a travel agent in connection with the offences for which a government MP and former minister, George Shiu Raj, will appear in court next week.

Shiu Raj, who was forced to resign as minister for multi-ethnic affairs, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the government.

The scam involved officials who travelled overseas by economy class when the government had paid for business class fares, and they pocketed the difference.

Now a director of Hunts Travel Limited, Sanjeev Pal, has also been charged with conspiracy to defraud the government for issuing the economy tickets and the cash refunds to Shiu Raj.

Fiji's auditor general, Eroni Vatuleka, is investigating other cabinet ministers and their senior officials for similar scams.