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Thursday, July 26, 2007

SI government proceeds with investigation into detected money fraud network aimed at sucking the SIG's purse

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The Finance and Treasury Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo has warned people including government officers intending to steal money from the government Treasury of no escape and no mercy.

The warning comes as the government proceeds with an investigation into a money fraud network allegedly involving certain officers in the Department of Treasury and a group of outsiders.

Mr Darcy Lilo said the racket was detected after a government cheque of $500,000 was drawn from one of the commercial banks.

He revealed that a set of government cheques was stolen through the money fraud network but fortunately the half a million dollar cheque was the first to be drawn.

Mr Darcy Lilo said the cheque bore forged signatures of the government authorities responsible for authorizing cheque payments.

He said some of the people who had drawn the money from the bank had been arrested by police and were being detained in custody.

The Finance and Treasury Minister said the money drawers were identified by the surveillance cameras in the bank and the police were confident they would be apprehending those still at large soon.

He said the people identified to be responsible for the fraud had been allegedly stealing money in the same manner from some companies.

Mr Darcy Lilo meanwhile attributed the swift detection of the fraud to the robust internal audit system in his ministry and warned fraudsters to keep away from any attempt to get money from the government Treasury through fraud.

He said though the $500,000 was not recovered, the government had seized the assets of those identified to be responsible for the crime.

The Finance and Treasury Minister accused the bank of negligence for not cross-checking the Treasury Department for the authenticity of the cashed cheque.

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