How Fijian Authorities busted one of Fiji’s biggest financial crimes
by Dionisia Tabureguci
Swindled! Turtle Island Fiji owner Richard
Evanson lost close to F$1m to corrupt workers.
For a moment, you wouldn’t believe this was happening in Fiji.
It’s the story about how Turtle Island Fiji, owned by American entrepreneur Richard Evanson and dubbed as one of the world’s most private and exclusive eco-cultural island resorts, fell victim to corrupt workers.
The conspiracy—played out over close to two years before formal police investigations into it began—is rooted in the use of friends and relatives and their bank accounts to siphon off close to F$1 million from the resort’s account, money used to buy a life of luxury and indulgence. When police and state prosecutors finally moved in to confiscate assets, they were only able to seize a house in Nadi, bought for over $100,000 cash, and six vehicles.
At today’s market value, these assets are worth around $200,000, said state prosecutor Nancy Tikoisuva.
The rest—over $700,000—remains unaccounted for.