News

Former iTaukei Land Trust Board Officer and three others Fronts Court for Alleged FJD$1.3 Million Land Scam

Media Team   |   26 Aug 2022

A former iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) Officer, a business man, his mother and a private consultant was produced at the Anti-Corruption Division Magistrates Court in Lautoka on Thursday, 25 August 2022 for an alleged land scam.


Joseva Muana, Abinesh Kumar, Subbamma and Metuisela Navunisaravi have been jointly charged for five (5) counts of Conspiracy to Defraud – Obtaining A Gain, six (6) counts of Obtaining Financial Advantage and four (4) counts of Falsification of Documents.


Joseva Muana has also being charged with one (1) count of Abuse of Office and one (1) count of Bribery.


On the five counts of Conspiracy to Defraud – Obtaining A Gain, it is alleged between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020 in the Western Division, Joseva Muana, Abinesh Kumar, Subbamma and Metuisela Navunisaravi conspired with the intention of dishonestly obtaining a gain in the amount of FJD$1.3 Million from private citizens.


For the six (6) counts of Obtaining Financial Advantage, it is alleged between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020 in the Western Division, Abinesh Kumar and Subbamma sold pieces of land in Sabeto and Nasoso which did not belong to them, and as a result of such conduct, obtained a financial advantage in the amount of FJD$1.3 Million from private citizens.


In relation to the four (4) counts of Falsification of Documents, it is alleged between 1 January 2019 and 31 January 2020 in the Western Division, Joseva Muana and Abinesh Kumar dishonestly falsified iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) Agreements for Lease and the said documents were issued for the purpose under the iTaukei Land Trust (Leases and Licenses) Regulations 1984 and did so with the intention of obtaining a gain in the amount of FJD$1.3 Million from private citizens.


On the lone charge of Abuse of Office, it is alleged between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020 in the Western Division, Joseva Muana being a Senior Estate Officer – Compliance & Risk at the iTaukei Land Trust Board, in the abuse of his office, processed and approved the Application for lease for land without following the relevant procedures in the processing and approval of such application, which are acts prejudicial to the rights of the relevant Landowning Unit (LOU) and the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB).


On the count of Bribery, it is alleged between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020 in the Western Division, Joseva Muana being a Senior Estate Officer – Compliance & Risk at the iTaukei Land Trust Board, accepted an advantage of FJD$6,0000 from one Subbamma on the account of him performing any act in his capacity as a public servant.


FICAC State Counsel Ms. Arieta Vaganalau informed the Court that the first phase of disclosures has been served.


The Magistrates granted a non-cash bail of $1,000 for Joseva Muana, Subbamma and Metuisela Navunisaravi while a $5,000 non-cash bail has been granted for Abinesh Kumar.


Joseva Muana and Abinesh Kumar are to provide three (3) sureties on the next Court appearance.


The four (4) accused were ordered not to re-offend whilst on bail and surrender all travel documents to the Court immediately.


They were also ordered not to interefere with any witnesses and not to change their residential address.


The four (4) accused are to report to the nearest Police Station at the end of every month between 7am to 5pm commencing from 31 August 2022.


A stop departure order has been issued for Joseva Muana, Abinesh Kumar, Subbamma and Metuisela Navunisaravi.


The matter has been adjourned to 3 October 2022.