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Chaudhry on evasion, laundering charges

 

Jul 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM

One of Fiji’s ousted prime ministers Mahendra Pal Chaudhry has appeared in a magistrates’ court in the capital Suva today on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and providing false information to the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority (FIRCA).

He was released on cash bail of $1000, represented by his lawyer son Rajendra Chaudhry.

A former Finance Minister in the Bainimarama government in 2008, Mahendra Chaudhry is charged with 12 counts of money laundering, tax evasion and providing false information to FIRCA.

It was alleged that he kept up to $400,000 in an account in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and that $50,000 was given to his daughter in Australia without proper Reserve Bank of Fiji stipulated procedures being followed.

He was taken in for questioning by the police Criminal Investigations Department in Suva yesterday morning.  

The court ordered Chaudhry to surrender his passport and report to the Suva Point police station every Thursday.

No plea has been taken.

The case has been transferred to the High Court to be called on July 30.

By Edwina Chand

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