The Reserve Bank of Fiji(RBF)is concerned about the increase in the number of cyber fraud cases brought to the attention of the police, Financial Intelligence Unit, the commercial banks and the Association of Banks.
The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Razim Buksh in a statement said cyber-crime is committed by criminals who are technologically competent by exploiting internet and computer technology for monetary benefit.
Buksh said the authorities in Fiji are taking this matter seriously and have established a strong networking and partnership with domestic as well as foreign counterpart agencies.
International cyber-criminals who previously were not caught should not take things for granted anymore.
Buksh said recently, authorities were able to investigate and prosecute a businessman from Vanuatu, Johnny Albert Stephen for involvement in internet banking fraud that he committed in Fiji.
Stephen was charged, convicted and sentenced in April 2012 to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.
Buksh said this would send a strong message that Fiji is an equally committed partner in the fight against money laundering and cyber-crime globally.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has a mandate under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act to ensure the safety and protection of the financial system and the members of public from money launderers, cyber-criminals and other crimes involving financial transactions.
The commercial bank also played a key role in assisting and cooperating with the FIU and the Fiji Police Force.
Buksh said the recent use of internet banking facility portals at local commercial banks has been targeted by criminals for cyber-crime related activities, hacking, identity theft and advance fee fraud scams.
The FIU, commercial banks as well as the Association of Banks in Fiji have alerted customers and members of the public to exercise caution and care when accessing their bank accounts online.
By Ropate Valemei