News/Fiji: Sex trade crackdown

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Subject: News/Fiji: Sex trade crackdown
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 09:55:41 EST


Sex trade crackdown
Fiji's Daily Post, Thursday, March 23, 2000

SOME Asian women brought to Fiji as garment workers are believed to be
engaged in prostitution,
Immigration Minister Ratu Tevita Momoedonu said yesterday.

Although government has yet to receive direct evidence of their involvement
in the "illicit human flesh
trade", the Minister said investigations were now underway.

"We have evidence though that activities these women have been involved in
borders on prostitution,"
he said.

"I have discussed the issue with the Chinese Ambassador who had paid a
courtesy call on me last
Thursday.

"He is aware of this because most of the illegal immigrants in the country
are from Chine.

"It's a matter of grave concern to us." Ratu Tevita said he had highlighted
the problem after his officers
found out that when Asian garment factory workers were ill-treated or not
paid their wages, they
refused to work and as a result, some of them resorted to prostitution.

Meanwhile, a couple and their two-year old daughter are awaiting
deportation after they were arrested
by immigration officials.

The 28-year-old Chinese woman and her 52-year-old Taiwanese husband's case
came to light after
Ratu Tevita visited the woman's sisters' shark fin factory in Lami.

Ratu Tevita said he had directed his Permanent Secretary to detain the
family and deport them
immediately.

"They have been staying here illegally since September 1999," he said.

He said that currently, the largest number of illegal immigrants in Fiji
were Asians, with Chinese topping
the list.

"This is why we have got new immigration policies in place so that these
kinds of things could be
stopped," he said.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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