THREE FIJI PARLIAMENTARIANS UNDER INVESTIGATION

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SUVA, Fiji (January 4, 1998 - PACNEWS)---At least three Members of Parliament in Fiji are under police investigation for allegedly tampering with files containing crucial evidence in the National Bank of Fiji fraud case.

The files were being kept at the Registrar of Companies' office at the time of the alleged incident, the Fiji Times reports.

Police Commissioner Isikia Savua confirmed the investigations and said several people, including a prominent businessman, had tampered with crucial evidence. He said police had launched an investigation and hoped to complete it soon.

A well-placed source told the Fiji Times that in one of the cases, an MP forged the signatures of three heads of mataqali (land owning unit) and successfully collected close to $F50,000 ($US32,000) in loans from the NBF. The source said the company was owned by several mataqali and specialized in marketing indigenous hardwood timber.

The source said in another case, two MPs established a joint venture construction company with an overseas businessman. They obtained $F100,000 ($US65,000) in loans from the NBF but the bogus company soon closed after running into financial problems. The businessman later fled to his country.

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