U.S. PROSECUTORS ASK FIJI COOPERATION IN NEVADA FRAUD

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Fiji-born fugitive wanted for mail fraud

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 9, 2009) – Authorities in the United States have requested Fiji not to release properties seized by police from a Fiji-born American fugitive wanted for fraud-related charges in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Aneal Maharaj, 61, is alleged to have fled the State of Nevada for crimes of fraud that could put him away in prison for 20 to 30 years in America, State prosecutor Ana Tuiketei confirmed.

Mr. Tuiketei told the Suva Magistrates Court that authorities in USA had requested not to release properties back to Maharaj, because it could link to other possible accomplices.

The case was called before Magistrate Eparama Rokoika yesterday.

Tuiketei said Maharaj had requested the court to issue an order to release his properties, including assorted watches and documents that were seized by Fiji police during a raid at his Namadi Heights home in January, this year.

Maharaj is on bail and has found employment as a manger for a timber company in Fiji.

The court has scheduled an extradition hearing on July 22, this month.

Maharaj is wanted for mail fraud, five counts of money laundery, six counts of bank fraud, one of tax invasion and one of false declaration in relation to bankruptcy.

The crimes were allegedly committed between 1995 and 2004.

Maharaj was located in Fiji by the Transnational Crime Unit.

The case has been adjourned to proceed before Chief Magistrate Ajmal Gulab Khan to determine the release of properties on July 15.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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