The New Zealand Government has formally advised Fiji that it will not seek to recover the forfeited asset of around $89,623.10 which belong to New Zealander Christopher Chase and advised that Fijian authorities may retain the forfeited asset.
Chase was sentenced to 10 years in prison in New Zealand for drug related offences.
The street value of the drugs he sold was reported at nearly NZ$50 million.
In a statement the Fijian Government says the Fijian authorities provided assistance to the New Zealand Police during the course of their investigation of Chase and his co‑offenders to identify any proceeds of crime located in Fiji.
It says subsequently, a restraining order was registered over the proceeds of the sale of a property in Fiji which was owned by Chase and the proceeds totaling $89,623.10 were then held in the Fijian Forfeited Assets Fund account.
The statement says in 2018, New Zealand authorities sent another request to register and enforce a foreign forfeiture order over the sum of money in the Forfeited Assets Fund adding the Fijian High Court registered the Foreign Forfeiture Order effectively allowing for the forfeiture of the funds to New Zealand authorities.
The New Zealand authorities expressed their gratitude to the Fijian authorities for their valuable co‑operation with the investigation into this case and the mutual legal assistance request.
Attorney‑General Aiyaz Sayed‑Khaiyum stated that the Fijian Government plans to utilise the forfeited assets to fund efforts to strengthen Fiji’s capacity to combat money‑laundering.
He also reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to work with international law enforcement agencies in investigating transnational crime and tracing and confiscating any illicit proceeds that may end up in Fiji.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.