Businesswoman Convicted of Bribery Sentenced

Media Team   |   09 Dec 2019

Businesswoman Ms Anita Ranjini Mala received a one (1) year sentence in the Suva Magistrates Court last Thursday.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) had charged her with (2) counts of Bribery in 2017 for having offered $500 - $800 FJD to Technical Officers from the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations on two (2) separate occasions.

The Celcius Fire Protection and Pest Control owner had initially denied these charges but admitted to them before her trial was to begin in October.

In reading out the sentence Resident Magistrate Mr Asanga Bodaragama said that Ms Mala had attempted to abuse the good relationship she had with the public officers and use it to her advantage by offering bribes.

Furthermore, he said that the court is entrusted with the duty of upholding the public confidence on the system of administration of justice and that bribery is a serious crime and should not be treated leniently as it affects the entire public service.

He added that the general public and law abiding honest public servants would lose faith and confidence in the justice system if deterrent and adequate punishments were not imposed on the Accused to denounce her conduct.

He said that this sentence should be a clear message to any would be offenders who dare to offer advantages to hardworking and honest public servants in order to influence them.

He ordered that of the sentence, five (5) months would be served in prison and the remaining seven (7) months to be suspended for two (2) years.

Ms Mala was also fined $500 FJD to be paid in one (1) month or she would incur a further 50 days in prison.