Former Post Fiji Chief Executive faces corruption charges

Dr Anirudh Bansod (FBC News Photo)

Staff Reporter
Auckland, August 23, 2023

Dr Anirudh Bansod, who was removed from the post of Chief Executive of Post Fiji Pte Limited was charged in the Suva Magistrate Court on one count of abuse of office and one count of obtaining a financial advantage.

He was released on bail set at F$ 2000.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reported that Dr Bansod, who was also Acting Head of Finance at Post Fiji, was facing corruption charges brought against him by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

In terminating his services on June 30, 2023, Board Chairman Isireli Leweniqila said that an Independent Commission would be appointed to investigate the allegations. He had also announced the suspension of three other officers of the company.

Confidentiality breached

According to FBC News, Mr Bansod had, on August 1, 2022, allegedly submitted false confidentiality and declared a false conflict of interest relating to a tender for designing, developing and commissioning a Mobile App for Post Fiji.

“It has further been alleged that during the same period, Dr Bansod authorised reimbursement of travel expenses from Dubai to Nagpur (India), causing a risk of loss to Post Fiji Pte Limited while being aware of the potential substantial risk,” it said.

FBC News said that a second case related to obtaining financial advantage involved Dr Bansod along with Dharmend Chand and Ashish Chand.

“It is alleged that Mr Bansod received F$15,000 as a relocation allowance although his contract was not due for renewal, thus obtaining a financial advantage unlawfully. Ashish Chand, during his role as Head of Human Resources and Dharmend Chand, as the Acting Head of Finance have been accused of facilitating the payment of the relocation allowance, knowing the status of Bansod’s contract and his ineligibility for the financial benefit,” FBC News said.

The Court directives

FICAC State Counsel Arieta Vaganalau told the Court that the initial phase of disclosures had been served, following which Resident Magistrate Krishan Prasad granted each of the accused a cash bail of F$ 2000 and ordered them not to engage in any further unlawful activities.

The news item quoted the Magistrate as saying that the accused were directed not to interfere with the witnesses for the Prosecution. They were also directed not to change their residential addresses without court notification and to surrender their travel documents.

“Dr Bansod is required to report to the FICAC Lautoka Office, while Ashish Chand and Dharmend Chand are to report to the FICAC Suva Office on the last working day of each month. A stop-departure order has been issued against all the three accused,” the news item said.

The next hearing will be on September 12, 2023.

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