Fiji Sun

Magistrate denies former revenue collector noncustodi­an sentence


A former civil servant was told that she did not deserve to receive a non-custodian sentence after allegedly obtaining a financial advantage of more than $11,000 from the Ministry of Justice.

Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili yesterday said Farzana Bano, 24, had breached the trust imposed on her on behalf of the Government to collect revenue from those who came to pay their fines or fees.

Bano, a former revenue collector, was charged with one count of falsificat­ion of documents and one count of obtaining financial advantage will be sentenced today.

For the first count she will serve 17 months and for the second count she will serve 1 year 11 months, both sentences to be served concurrent­ly.

Bano’s lawyer, Jitendra Reddy had earlier requested for Bano’s noncustodi­al sentence, as she had also returned the money she had taken. But Magistrate Ratuvili decided otherwise so that this would be a message to those who had any offence as such planned.

He also said the monies belonged to the State.

Bano’s offence was brought out after an internal audit.

Magistrate Ratuvili said there was evidence of pre planning and she had continued to commit the offence over the period of three months.

Bano was charged by the Fiji Independen­t Commission against Corruption for allegedly using falsified Book copies of Receipts and Revenue Collectors Cash Analysis Sheets with the intention of obtaining a gain from the Ministry of Justice.

She is also alleged to have obtained a financial advantage of more than $11,000 from the same Ministry knowing that she was not eligible to receive the said financial advantage. ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN Edited Karalaini Waqanidrol­a

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