20th February 10:07 AM
$220 million worth of financial crimes detected by Fiji Intelligence Unit last year
By Vijay Narayan
Friday 15/06/2018
Fiji Intelligence Unit Director, Razim Buksh with the Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Visvanath Das

The Fiji Intelligence Unit issued 317 intelligence case dissemination reports involving $220 million to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service for suspected tax crimes, money laundering activities and other fraudulent and financial crimes.

Unit Director, Razim Buksh says that the Revenue and Customs Service was the largest beneficiary of the unit’s intelligence representing more than 70 percent of its proactive “whistle‑blower”  reports. 

He says in 2017, the unit’s information was used by Revenue and Customs to investigate an additional 1,279 individuals and  businesses involved in tax and customs violation cases.

The Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Visvanath Das and Razim Buksh met this week and discussed opportunities to further strengthen tax and customs compliance  and fraud investigations. 

They discussed the need for stronger collaboration and networking between the two agencies in relation to profiling of suspected  tax evaders, investigation of trade‑based money laundering  involving incorrect declaration of the value of goods, and related financial crimes.

Das says the unit’s referral reports play an important role in uncovering fraudulent acts where businesses are not paying its fair share of taxes.

In 2017, total tax and penalties assessed as a result of the various Fiji Intelligence Unit referrals amounts to $6.6 million where 21 percent of it were assessed to businesses dealing in the wholesale and retail of Motor Vehicles.

Two Revenue and Customs Service officers are also based with the unit on a fulltime secondment.

Both agencies have acknowledged that while the overall culture  of tax compliance in Fiji is improving, authorities will come  down hard on dishonest individuals and businesses that violate their tax obligations.

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