A former employee of a printery firm was sentenced to four (4) years imprisonment by the Suva Magistrates Court on 13 April 2018 after being convicted for three (3) counts of “Obtaining a Financial Advantage”
Mr. Pranesh Kumar was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2017 and was sentenced to four (4) years imprisonment for each count to be served concurrently.
The offences were committed in December 2016 when Kumar was employed as an Information Technology (IT) Support Officer at a Printery Firm in Suva and obtained advantages of FJD $6800.00.
During the time of the offence, Kumar’s duties included attending to network printing, communication and network issues, such as he had access to printing room area which was used for cheques and plate printing.
Kumar allegedly entered the printing room and randomly picked three (3) cheques belonging to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and cashed it for his personal use.
In sentencing, Chief Magistrate, Mr. Usaia Ratuvili, stated that the offences were spread out over two (2) weeks and Kumar used his employee access to commit the offences.
It was further stated that Kumar actively attempted to conceal his tracks by cashing the cheque at a supermarket instead of a bank.
Mr. Ratuvili stated that the maximum penalty for the offence is ten (10) years imprisonment and the tariff ranges from two (2) to (5) years imprisonment.
“The aggravating factors include breach of trust and the planning involved in the offending as well as the duration of the offending,” said Mr. Ratuvili.
Kumar is eligible for parole after serving two (2) years of his sentence.
Twenty eight days has been given for Appeal.