30 Nov 2007

Fiji newspaper says authorities began tax evasion investigation three months ago

10:52 am on 30 November 2007

It's now been revealed that Fiji's interim prime minister ordered an investigation three months ago into allegations of tax evasion by a senior cabinet minister.

The Fiji Sun reports that Commodore Frank Bainimarama wrote to the chairman of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Filipe Bole, and directed him to investigate the allegations and provide a report.

The newspaper says the letter had the minister's name written at the top and gave a two-week deadline for the investigation to be completed.

The interim prime minister's directions followed a complaint by trade unionist, Taniela Tabu, to his office and to police.

The newspaper says yesterday no one could confirm whether the investigation was carried out and a report provided.

But last night Fiji TV revealed the second most senior executive in the Revenue and Customs Authority, Madhu Sadan, had been sent on leave for misconduct related to breaches of the Income Tax Act.

It was not known whether this was related to alleged tax evasion by the interim minister.