A former Project Technical Officer with the Ministry of Health received a sentence of 17 months in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Mohammed Ifraz was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption in February with one count each of Forgery and Using Forged Document.

He pleaded guilty to the offences and was convicted accordingly in September.

He admitted to using the Paint application on his laptop to make false certificates from the Fiji Institute of Technology and Fiji National University and attempted to use them to gain employment with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate, Asanga Bodaragama said that the offences committed were a serious breach of trust by an employee against his employer.

Furthermore, Magistrate Bodaragama highlighted that the MOH, as a government institute is extremely important to Fiji as a nation, especially during a period of pandemic and that people who work in these state institutions are expected to be honest and hard working.

He stated that the court is entrusted with the duty of upholding the public confidence in the system of administration of justice and that serious offences were committed which should not be treated leniently and needed to be a clear message to any would-be offenders.

Of the 17-month sentence, Ifraz will spend five months in jail with the remaining 12 months suspended for five years.

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