In 2008, my deep throats inside FIRCA had dumped on me scores of tax files belonging to Interim Cabinet Ministers, former politicians, individuals, companies, lawyers and businessmen; not to mention the tax file of Frank Bainimarama’s Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry who was also line Minister for FIRCA. Among the heaps of files was one relating to an investigation on JOSEVA NAMISI LEANO, FIRCA’s then Acting General Manager, Risk and Compliance. When I exposed Chaudhry’s $2million that he was hiding in an Australian bank account, FIRCA issued a press release on 24 February 2008 stating that Leano had been dismissed for misconduct and abuse of office. The press release went on to state as follows: “The Authority is unable to divulge the facts of the various allegations made against Mr. Leano because they involve other taxpayers affairs.”
The next day, on 25 February 2008, Fiji Sun’s then publisher Russell Hunter was abducted from his home, detained overnight by the military, and deported out of Fiji- to prevent us from exposing other tax dodgers and fraudsters based on their own tax files. My own computer and emails were hacked, allegedly by Chaudhry’s hired goons, and all the files were wiped out. So, the hackers thought. I had however forwarded most of the files to another computer and an e-mail account, and had also made soft copies of the files. The Investigation Report on Leano was concluded in 2007. I never came around to revealing its contents but when I saw Grahame Southwick’s photo with Aiyaz Khaiyum and a story on the Tuna Support Fund, my photographic memory jolted me to dig up the ‘Leano File involving Leano, the
Southwick Family and Nur Ali Bano’s BDO firm’.
Mr. Joseva Leano
Mr. Leano’s contract with FIRCA was terminated on the 11th of September 2007 after a number of serious allegations of misconduct and abuse of office were leveled against him. Mr. Leano amongst other things was alleged to have accepted Directorship of two companies without obtaining the approval and consent of the Authority. He was also alleged to have failed to disclose various conflicts of interest situations involving taxpayers. Due to the Secrecy provisions of the Income Tax Act, the Authority is unable to divulge the facts of the various allegations made against Mr. Leano because they involve other taxpayers affairs. However, the public can be assured that the allegations were extremely serious and warranted investigations. Mr. Leano replied to all the allegations and the Authority having considered all the issues decided to terminate his employment. “
JITOKO TIKOLEVU, the then Chief Executive Officer, FIRCA, 24 February 2008
FULLY STORY SOON