$3.9m alleged tax related evasion case

Image: FT FILE

At a time when nightclubs were closed during the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic, a nightclub owner received $3.9 million into the nightclub’s bank accounts.

The Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said in its 2021 annual report presented in Parliament this week, that this was a case of alleged tax related offence, tax evasion and money laundering.

“Mr X was reported to the Fiji FIU for possible tax evasion and money laundering following a cash deposit of $34,250 that he conducted into the bank account of nightclub A,” said the FIU.

“Mr X is the owner of nightclub A and the cash deposit was allegedly sourced from the club’s overnight sales.

“Fiji FIU analysis established that Mr X is a business taxpayer, who has not lodged his income tax returns since 2006.”

In addition, Fiji FIU analysis established Mr X also operates and trades as bottle shop B, tyre shop C and a liquor shop.

“However, he had not registered his liquor shop business activity with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) for tax purposes.”

Fiji FIU analysis further established during the 2020 – 2021 pandemic period, nightclub A’s bank account continued to receive large cash deposits of $10,000 and above, totalling approximately $3.9 million.

Within the same time period, the liquor shop conducted large cash deposits of $10,000 and above, totaling approximately $883,000.

Fiji FIU forwarded the case to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.

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