Big supermarkets such as Cost U Less, Morris Hedstrom and Shop and Save are facing charges arising from alleged unethical practices.
FBC News is able to reveal the names of 24 traders facing charges of alleged unscrupulous business practices.
The comprehensive investigation was carried out by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC).
Other retailers include Melbourne Works Limited, Automart Limited, Novel Distributor Limited, MS Rao Design Services, Laia Electrical Contractors, Ahards Shopping Center, Harrisons and Vision Investment Limited along with Seaqaqa Shopping Centre.
Seven individuals, including People’s Community Network Director Semiti Qalowasa has also been charged.
The charges involve a number of offenses, such as engaging in Unconscionable Conduct, Accepting Payment and Failing to Supply as Ordered, Deceptive Conduct, as well as False and Misleading Representation.
Other areas of concern are Failing to Display Prices on Price-Controlled and Non-Price Controlled Goods, Overcharging, Failing to Keep Proper Records, Illegal rent increases and Failing to Furnish Information.
Chief Executive Joel Abraham said that FCCC has warned traders against such unethical practices on several occasions in the past.
However, a handful of unscrupulous retailers in the market continue to take advantage of vulnerable customers, he said.
“Some traders argue that they were unaware of the provisions in the law. We reject this excuse. ignorance of the law is no defence and strict enforcement should act as a deterrent in the future,” he said.
The FCCC has also reminded shoppers to report any unfair trade practices.
Rachel Nath is Multimedia Journalist at Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. The above Report has been published under a Special Arrangement with FCCC.
FCCC Chief Executive Joel Abraham