A man convicted of impersonating an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Inspector and gaining money illegally was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment in the Nadi Magistrates Court yesterday.
The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) had charged Dranivesi Matai Junior, also known as Matai Dranivesi, in July with one (1) count each of Personating a Public Officer and Obtaining Financial Advantage and two (2) counts of Falsification of Documents.
In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate Nirosha Kannangara said that a custodial sentence was inevitable in this matter to deter offenders or other persons from committing offences of the same or similar nature.
She added that Dranivesi misled the business community 19 times and created suspicions in their minds with regards to the confidence they had on the image of Public Officer who is engaged in their day-to-day office functions and duties.
Dranivesi had impersonated an OHS Inspector of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Namaka office during inspections of business premises for businesses in the Nadi area for the purpose of OHS certification.
He further falsified the OHS Inspection certificates and placed the electronic signature of the inspector he was impersonating onto the certificates, which was then issued to these businesses to fulfill the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1996 in order to obtain a gain from the businesses.
He also falsified trust fund receipts by forging the signature of a Revenue Collector for the Ministry onto these receipts, which were issued for the purpose of payments by the businesses the certificates were issued to.
It was through these alleged corrupt practices that he obtained inspection fees of $1,850.00 FJD which he was not eligible to receive for inspections he was not authorized to carry out.
To date, Dranivesi has returned only $70.00 FJD of the money illegally obtained.