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Two Fire Fights and a Sub Officer Structural Fire Safety of the National Fire Authority (NFA) Charged by FICAC for alleged Scam

Media Team   |   18 May 2022

Two Fire Fighters of the National Fire Authority (NFA) based at the Sigatoka Fire Station and a Sub Officer Structural Fire Safety based at the Lautoka Fire Station were produced at the Lautoka Magistrates Court of the Anti-Corruption Division on Friday 13 May 2022 for corruption related offences.


The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has charged Epeli Lairoti with five (5) counts of Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage and Veresa Veiroyaki with two (2) counts of Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage. The duo is also jointly charged with one (1) count of Soliciting and Accepting and Advantage while Inoke Raleba is charged with one (1) count of Aiding and Abetting.


On the five (5) counts of Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage, it is alleged between 06 January 2021 to 28 February 2021, Epeli Lairoti whilst being a Fire Fighter based at the Sigatoka Fire Station, without the general or special permission of his appointing authority solicited and accepted an advantage of FJD $270 from several private businesses in the Western Division.


For the two (2) counts of Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage, it is alleged between 23 July 2019 & 30 July 2019 and 21 December 2020 & 30 December 2020, Veresa Veiroyaki whilst being a Fire Fighter based at the Sigatoka Fire Station, without the general or special permission of his appointing authority solicited and accepted an advantage of FJD $160 from private businesses in the Western Division.


On the joint charge of Soliciting and Accepting an Advantage, it is alleged between 15 January 2021 and 30 January 2021, Epeli Lairoti and Veresa Veiroyaki whilst being the Fire Fighters based at the Sigatoka Fire Station, without the general or special permission of his appointing authority solicited and accepted an advantage of FJD $30 from a private business in the Western Division.


In relation to the count of Aiding and Abetting, it is alleged between 23 July 2019 and 30 January 2021, Inoke Raleba whilst being the Sub Structural Fire Safety Officer at Lautoka Fire Station aided and abetted NFA Officers, Veresa Veiroyaki and Epeli Lairoti in soliciting and accepting monies from business in the Western Division.


FICAC State Counsel, Mr. Shanil Nair informed the Court that the first phase of disclosures has been served.


The Magistrates Court granted a non cash bail of $500 for each of the accused and were ordered not to re-offend whilst on bail.


Epeli Lairoti, Veresa Veiroyaki and Inoke Raleba were ordered not to interfere with prosecution witnesses and not to change their residential address without the permission from the Court.


Epeli Lairoti was ordered to report to the Ba Police Station on the last working day of each month between 9am to 4pm.


Inoke Raleba was ordered to report to the FICAC Lautoka Office on the last working day of each month between 9am to 4pm.


Veresa Veiroyaki was ordered to report to the Savusavu Police Station on the last working day of each month between 9am to 4pm.


A stop departure order has been issued against Epeli Lairoti, Veresa Veiroyaki and Inoke Raleba.


The matter has been adjourned to 27 June 2022.