"A Fiji Commerce Commission (FCC) officer was assaulted by a trader today in Lautoka after issuing a spot fine of $1000 to Asha’s Restaurant and Milk Bar for failing to properly display prices on goods. After leaving the trader’s premises to return to the commission office in Lautoka, a company director, Vicky Vikash Kumar, allegedly followed and then punched one of the FCC officers in the Fiji Commerce Commission car park. The incident is currently with the Police for further investigation."
"As John Whippy was assisted to the taxi he was in an ugly drunken mood. I accept he used vulgar language that provoked Mr. Kean into firmly telling him to mind his language and go home. In his drunkenness the deceased ignored this direction and kept up his belligerent tirade. Francis Kean then left the Suva Yacht Club and ran towards Mr. John Whippy yelling in Fijian, "Stop that taxi." The accused then came up to John Whippy and punched him three times in the face. John Whippy first hit his head against the taxi light then fell heavily to the ground on his back. While he was lying on the ground Francis Kean kicked him on the chest. The accused was dragged away by an unidentified woman but returned to kick John Whippy’s head...Your serious loss of self-control also aggravates this crime...Kicking this man when he was down demonstrates to me that this was an attack of considerable ferocity. You lost your temper. You resorted to violence. You had to be dragged away from your victim. Whippy died." Justice Gerard Winter as he jailed Francis Kean for 18 months; Kean is now new Prison Commissioner
Fiji Commerce Commission Officer Assaulted, AG Issues Stern Warning
In response, Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has issued a stern warning to all businesses not to interfere with the FCC’s work of protecting consumers and preventing unethical trading practices.
At the incident in question, an FCC officer was assaulted after issuing a spot of fine of $1,000 to Asha’s Restaurant and Milk Bar for failing to properly display prices on tin fish, tea leaves, flour, noodles and breakfast crackers.
Hon. Sayed-Khaiyum said that the trader was first visited by FCC officers on Friday 4 March 2016 after reports from consumers that the merchant was practicing unethical behaviour.
FCC officers found the trader to have violated the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 by engaging in price gouging, failing to mark/display prices and failing to issue receipts. As a result, the merchant was issued a spot fine of $2,000.
FCC officers returned to Asha’s Restaurant and Milk Bar today after continued reports that prices were not being properly marked and displayed. FCC officers again found the trader to be in violation of the Commerce Commission Decree and another $1,000 fine was imposed.
After leaving the trader’s premises to return to the commission office in Lautoka, a company director, Vicky Vikash Kumar, allegedly followed and then punched one of the FCC officers in the Fiji Commerce Commission car park. The incident is currently with the Police for further investigation.
“This alleged behaviour is shameful and will not be tolerated. Any person who seeks to hinder, obstruct or otherwise interfere with the FCC’s critical work of protecting Fijian customers will be punished to the full extent of the law. The FCC will continue responding to reports of unethical practices and rooting out traders who seek to exploit our consumers. We urge all Fijians to continue reporting any abuses they encounter,” said the AG. Source: Fiji Sun, 7 March 2016