Fiji’s New Unexplained Wealth Law In Full Effect

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Fiji’s New Unexplained Wealth Law In Full Effect Financial Intelligence Unit investigating 24 separate cases

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 9, 2013) – Fiji’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is investigating 24 cases under the new unexplained wealth law.

And under the unexplained wealth law, these people risk losing everything if they can not convince a court that their property was accumulated legitimately.

Previously the responsibility had been on prosecutors to prove that assets were obtained via criminal activity.

FIU director Razim Buksh says the majority of these cases involve locals while a handful involves foreigners who have been living in Fiji.

"What the FIU will do is conduct a full profile of these persons. Once these cases are fully investigated, they will then be given to the office of the DPP to present it before court."

Buksh says the new laws augur well for the FIU in that they would not need to show that wealth was linked to any unlawful activity.

"It’s the person who has to convince/show that the money was acquired by legitimate means in order to keep the property," he said.

"If he is unable to, then the property will be forfeited to the state.

"These people that are being investigated are not aware. Once they are charged and the case has been brought before court they will be made aware."

Buksh believes in a ‘few months’ some of these cases will be brought before the court.

"And we believe there are still others out there who should be subjected to the new laws. So we are encouraging members of the public to inform the FIU should they have information that a person has property that could be classified as unexplained wealth."

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