Deterrent Sentences Given to PWD Defrauders

Media Team   |   04 Jul 2019

Former employees of the Public Works Department (PWD) received additional Sentences of three (3) years for defrauding PWD in the Suva High Court today.

Ms. Vaciseva Lagai and Ms. Ana Laqere were charged with one (1) count each of Abuse of Office and two (2) counts each of Causing a Loss by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2014.

The duo had earlier pleaded not guilty but changed their plea and were convicted and sentenced accordingly.

High Court Judge Justice Mr. Chamath Morais described the systematic breaches as a serious breach of the trust of their employer which involved a significant amount of public funds.

He emphasised that a harsh sentence was necessary to act as a deterrent to others who may contemplate engaging in similar acts of corruption.

He added that the sentence would be served together with their current sentences.

The ladies admitted to facilitating the processing of false payments to Mass Stationery Supplies Limited between January and March 2010 and caused a combined loss of $10,557.50 FJD to PWD.

They are currently serving time in jail for similar corruption-related offences which they were convicted of in 2017 which are eight (8) and 10 year sentences respectively.