Friday, July 23, 2010

12 Charges as Chaudhry appears in court

Fiji Village News - 23 July 2010
Story by: Roneel Lal and Vijay Narayan

The former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has been charged with 12 counts of alleged money laundering, tax evasion and not declaring foreign currency and appeared in the Suva Magistrates court in the last hour.

Chaudhry appeared in a packed court room and was represented by his son, lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry.
Looking at the charges laid against Chaudhry. 

Count one deals with Chaudhry allegedly failing to surrender foreign currency involving $1.5 million Australian dollars between 1st November 2000 to 23rd July this year.

Count two also deals with Chaudhry allegedly failing to declare foreign currency by not following the proper channels and failing to follow proper procedure as required by the Reserve Bank of Fiji and allegedly investing in certain institutions without confirming with the Reserve Bank of Fiji and without following proper procedures.

Chaudhry is also charged with a few counts of alleged money laundering. 

According to the DPP Aca Rawaya this is an unlawful act and the charges relate to events dating back to 21st February 2001 amount involving $400,000 Australian dollars where it is alleged that Chaudhry kept in an account at the Commonwealth Bank in Australia. 

A number of bank account numbers where Chaudhry is alleged to have kept this money in various bank was also revealed in court this afternoon and the amounts involved $400,000 and $378,000. 

One of these charges involves $50,000 Australian dollars in relation to where Chaudhry is alleged to have given a gift to his daughter who lives in Australia and allegedly not following proper procedures under the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Fiji laws and a number of alleged false statements made by Chaudhry and failing to declare certain amounts.

The 12 charges were read to Chaudhry and he said he understood the charges however no plea was taken.

Chaudhry handed in his passport and has been released on strict bail conditions which include that he is to report to the Suva Point Police station every Thursday, he was to pay $1000 assurity and was ordered not to interfere with any of the witnesses.

Mahendra Chaudhry will now appear in the Suva High court next Friday, July 30th.

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