Two (2) women involved in the defrauding of the Public Works Department (PWD) in 2010 received concurrent prison sentences in the Suva High Court yesterday.
Ms. Amelia Vunisea and Ms. Laisa Halafi were sentenced to two (2) years, eight (8) months and four (4) years respectively by High Court Judge Justice Mr. Chamath Morais.
The duo were charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) last year with one (1) count each of “Abuse of Office”, and two (2) counts each of “Causing a Loss”, with Ms. Halafi facing one (1) additional count of “Obtaining a Financial Advantage” of $300.00 FJD.
They pled guilty and admitted to facilitating false payments to Mass Stationery Supplies Limited amounting to $10,557.50 FJD.
This is the fourth sentencing the two have received for similar offences committed against PWD and have served one (1) year and five (5) months out of the original sentence which were 8 years and 9 years 11 months respectively.
They are to serve their sentence concurrently.
In delivering his sentence, Justice Morais said that the level of culpability for the two was high and their actions displayed a serious breach of trust between employer, employee and the public.
Ms. Vunisea and Ms. Halafi were charged alongside four (4) other individuals who pled not guilty.
The Pre-Trial Conference for the remaining accused will be held on 31 October 2018.