SUVA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA) said Monday they are concerned about the increase in money laundering and cyber-crime activities in the island nation.
According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), while presenting before the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, the Fiji Institute of Accountants President Nitesh Lal said Monday that work is in progress to create more awareness among their members on the issue.
They are also working with the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit to try and protect the country from financial crimes and money laundering, he said, adding that the FIA is focusing on young accountants as they are faced with more risk in being tempted to these kinds of illegal activities.
Lal said introducing more educational and awareness programs and more dialogue is the only way forward for local accountants.
To counter the problem, Lal said they provided their members with professional development programs and engaged the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to present to their members the vision, mission, objectives and strategic course and how accountants could assist them to achieve this course and at the same time protect Fiji from financial crimes and money laundering.
Currently, FIA has more than 800 members in Fiji and abroad.
Earlier this year, Director for the FIU Razim Buksh said the hierarchy of crimes that tops their watch-list included drug trafficking, tax evasion and conversion or deception or fraud related activities.
Buksh said criminals of this nature are smart and are always looking for loop holes within the financial sector.
In 2017, the FIU forwarded to the police 84 possible money laundering cases reportedly worth nine million Fijian dollars (about 4 million U.S. dollars).
In 2018, the amount increased significantly to more than 54.7 million Fijian dollars (about 24 million U.S. dollars) in suspected cases.