Why are #hardware #merchants not being investigated and prosecuted for a similar crime?
According to this Fiji Sun article FICAC is investigating a man who allegedly took Help for Homes swipe cards from 20 homeowners in Taveuni promising to expedite delivery of building materials to rebuild their homes wrecked by Cyclone Winston.
Yet, the FF Government and FICAC are completely ignoring the massive #scam involving certain big hardware merchants who got away with close to $80 million under the same scheme without providing the promised building materials to card owners.
These hardware companies took Help for Homes swipe cards from victims of the cyclone, withdrew their money and gave assurances that building materials would be provided.
Most of the card owners were then forced to run from pillar to post trying to obtain the building supplies but kept being told that supplies were not available and to await the next shipment. They are still waiting.
FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry exposed this scam at the public hearing of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on Sugar in May last year.
We have since repeatedly run articles asking why these hardware merchants are not being investigated and prosecuted for hoodwinking these desperate people.
In December last year Minister for Economy Aiyaz Khaiyum admitted the scam when he mentioned that these hardware merchants would be fined for not providing the building materials that had been paid for through the swipe cards.
#We ask: just a fine, Minister Khaiyum, for such a huge scam? These companies took undue advantage, and betrayed the trust of thousands of suffering and desperate families most of whom had lost all they had in the cyclone?
Where is your sense of fair play and justice, Minister Khaiyum? How can these companies be allowed to get away with just a fine.
In any case, we have not so far heard of any fines being imposed on any of these companies.
Is it because some of them are major financiers of the Fiji First Party?