Lawyer charged with impersonating senior military officer

A lawyer who allegedly impersonated a senior military officer to pocket nearly $120,000 from an international businessman some time last year has been remanded in custody.

Sharif appeared before Resident Magistrate Hemantha in an anti corruption court in Lautoka today charged with one count of personating a public officer and one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception. It is alleged that between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020 in the western division, Mohammed Sharif obtained $118,350 from an international businessman by falsely representing himself to be Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz who was RFMF Deputy Commander at the time.

Sharif’s lawyer Filimoni Daveta applied for name suppression, which was declined by Magistrate Hemantha. Sharif has been remanded at the Natabua remand centre to await his bail ruling which is expected to be made on Wednesday 29 December.

FICAC will be filing an affidavit this Thursday, opposing bail.

Background of the Case
Investigations by FICAC revealed that Mohammed Sharif, a lawyer by profession contacted an international businessman who owns an import and export business and informed the businessman that he needs seeds.

Sharif was invited to the businessman’s farm in the western division. Upon visiting the farm, Sharif introduced himself to the businessman and the workers at the farm as one Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, second in charged at the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and legal adviser to the Prime Minister.

Further investigations revealed that Sharif by deception dishonestly obtained large sums of money which were paid by the international businessman.

FICAC believes that there may have been members of the public who may have fallen victim to this scam by the suspect or have been scammed by anyone in a similar way are urged to contact FICAC and lodge their complaint.

Photo: FICAC

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