24 May 2007

Fiji police seek extradition from Aust and NZ two people in agriculture scam

10:14 am on 24 May 2007

Fiji police are seeking the extradition of two people from Australia and New Zealand wanted in connection with conspiracy to steal millions of dollars during the agriculture ministry scam 6 years ago.

The Fiji Times reports that the director of the economic crime unit, Senior Superintendent Ravi Narayan, has confirmed that the extradition process has already started and is being handled by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Narayan says one of the two men is known to be in New Zealand under a work permit while the status of the other individual is not clear.

Manoj Bhika and Jitendra Pratap could not be taken to Suva court on Tuesday when two other men were arrested and charged in connection with the same offence.

A former Lord Mayor of Suva, Dhansukh Lal Bhika, and fellow director of Suncourt Hardware, Gulab Das Bhika, have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and defraud the state of 2.2 million US dollars.