Military sources have told Coupfourpointfive the Suva lawyer, Renee Lal, and the former politician, Ben Padarath, have both been released for the time being.
Lal is accused of swindling thousands of dollars from a businessman named Freeman and Padarath, of bringing the two together.
In an interesting turn of events, the illegal leader has been brought into the story with The FijiVillage and the FijiSun both saying Frank Bainimarama's name was used in the shenanigans.
The Sun says "one false demand on the investor was for $30,000, with the claim that it was for Commodore Bainimarama’s Christmas expenses."
It goes on to says it was revealed that one false demand on the investor was for $30,000, with the claim that it was for Commodore Bainimarama's Christmas expenses. Threats were allegedly made by the businessman to the investor.
"The businessman had threatened that money be given to him whenever he wanted it or else his uncle, who a senior military officer will deport him (the investor)," the source said. "The investor asked him once why his car window was tinted and he said it was because the vehicle was used by the Prime Minister on weekends for personal runs."
The source also revealed the alleged fraudulent dealings that took place.
Money allegedly obtained by the lawyer:
*) $200,000 was allegedly deposited to the lawyer's partner's account from the United States of America by a client-an investment company running a development project outside Suva. The money was for the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) payments and the salary of the workers but no documents/receipt have been received by the investment company to confirm the payment. The investment company will conduct their own inquiry into the matter.
*)$20,000 was allegedly obtained from the investor for his new office's furniture. Nothing has been bought to date.
*) $30,000 was also allegedly obtained for the false "PM's Christmas expenses", falsely using the Prime Minister's name.
*)The investor also gave $150,000 to the lawyer for his exploration licence.
Money allegedly obtained by the businessman:
*) $10,700 was allegedly obtained from the investor for the construction of his office after claiming that he owns a construction company.
*) He also demanded small amounts of money such as $200 every now and then with the threat of deportation if it wasn't given. Fiji SUN was told that this matter was brought to light after one of the alleged suspects told immigration officials that the investor should be deported because he was an HIV/AIDS carrier. However, upon being apprehended the investor revealed the dealings he had with the informer (the businessman) and the lawyer. The businessman reportedly introduced the investor to the lawyer.
Footnote: According to Coupfourpointfive sources, Renee Lal is getting treatment for her injuries as an outpatient.