Former Rates Officer Found Guilty for Causing Loss

Media Team   |   23 Mar 2020

The Nausori Magistrates Court today delivered a guilty verdict on a former Acting Senior Rates Officer with the Nausori Town Council.

Ms Timaima Mocevakaca was charged with 21 counts of General Dishonesty - Causing a Loss by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2013.

The Accused, who had over 15 years of experience in the Nausori Town Council and having had knowledge of the rate payment system and banking procedures, systematically and strategically altered the dates and information on the triplicate copies of the receipts given to ratepayers on 21 separate occasions.

She was convicted of these offences, which resulted in the Nausori Town Council losing $3,092.90 FJD over a three (3) month period in 2010.

It was found that while responsible for collecting monies for taxi base, town rates and the carrier base, she failed to deposit the money received as rate payments from various ratepayers.

In delivering the Judgment, Resident Magistrate Ms Vandhana Lal stated that the findings suggest that the Accused was dishonest and knowingly did not submit the pink slips with cash to the Nausori Branch for banking which caused this loss to the Nausori Town Council.

The hearing was from 18 March to 15 May 2016 whereby eight (8) witnesses were called for the Prosecution’s case and the Defence submitted a No Case to Answer application thereafter.

However, their application was dismissed as the Court ruled in favor of the Prosecution that there was sufficient evidence before the Court and that there was a case to answer.

Mr Niko Nawaikula represented the Accused while State Counsel Mr Joseph Work represented FICAC.

The matter was adjourned to 5 May 2020 for Mitigation and Sentencing submissions.