Serious Fraud Division (SFD)
The Serious Fraud Division (SFD), headed by Principal Legal Officer, Ms Jayneeta Prasad, is responsible for the prosecution of major fraud cases and money laundering offences.
It is also responsible for initiating restraint and forfeiture applications under the Proceeds of Crimes Act.
Fraud and Money Laundering
Fraudulent activities and agents of fraud can lead to the erosion of the economy, national security and social well-being if not prosecuted.
Fraudulent activities have negative implications on our economy by encouraging corruption and crimes that divert resources set aside for economic development and reduce productivity that is critical for economic growth.
Offences of fraudulent conduct under the Crimes Act, 2009, Part 17 are:
- Obtaining Property or Financial Advantage by Deception;
- Frauds by Trustees and Persons in a position of Trust, and False Accounting;
- False or Misleading Statements and Documents;
- Computer Offences (these include any unauthorised access, any unauthorised modification of data held in a computer and any unauthorised impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer);
- Financial Information Offences (includes dishonestly obtaining or dealing in personal financial information);
- Unwarranted Demands (where a public official makes an unwarranted demand in his/her capacity as a public official with the intention of gain or causing a loss); and
- Personation (with intent to defraud any person, falsely represents himself or herself to be some other person (living or dead).
Money Laundering in Fiji is criminalised under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). The SFD works closely with the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which is a statutory agency of the Fijian Government that was established in 2006 under the Financial Transactions Reporting (FTR) Act.
The SFD provides legal advice to law enforcement agencies and conducts trials and appeals for all offences of fraudulent conduct on behalf of the DPP.
As prosecution of such offences involve complex legal issues and voluminous documents, the SFD team spends a great deal of time examining documentary evidence and providing legal advice to investigating agencies (such as the Fiji Police Force and FIU).
These include advice to police on live files which are before the courts.
The Division also makes applications for forfeiture under the POCA.
The Division is headed by Manager SFD, Ms Jayneeta Prasad, with three legal officers; Ms Mehzabeen Khan, Ms Moira Konrote and Mr Saif Shah.
Anti-Money Laundering Working Group
The ODPP is a member of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Working Group (Legal and Law Enforcement).
The SFD manager Ms Prasad, as a representative of the DPP, is the current Chair of the AML Legal Working Group.