Former WAF Employee Sentenced

Media Team   |   11 Jan 2021

A former Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) employee convicted of corruption-related charges received an additional sentence of three (3) years and four (4) months in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Laisiasa Valesu was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one (1) count each of Abuse of Office, Forgery and Obtaining a Financial Advantage in 2018, which he pleaded Guilty to.

In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama said that Valesu violated and breached the trust placed on him by WAF and the tax paying public.

He also highlighted that the offences committed weren’t one-off incidents but repetitive and systematic breaches of procedure and regulations carried out with careful planning.

“You pre-planned to commit these offences and executed that plan by breaching financial regulations and procedures,” he stated.

Furthermore, the Resident Magistrate highlighted that Valesu committed the offences for the sole purpose of personal gain and brought disrepute and shame on the entire public service and its law abiding, hardworking officers.

It was found that while serving as the Land Acquisition Officer, he enabled the processing of false payments amounting to $13,348.19 FJD as claims for Crop Compensation for the Painapiu Sewerage Projects.

He created false Crop Compensation forms to dishonestly induce WAF officials to accept it as genuine and further claimed that the forms were signed by Land and Crop owners and obtained the $13,348.19 FJD between April and May 2016.

Valesu is currently serving a six (6) year sentence for similar offences and this new sentence will be served concurrently.