August 7, 2017
The Leader of the National Federation Party, Professor Biman Prasad has called on the Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration to provide full disclosures to all Fiji citizens on the details surrounding the arrest and supervised repatriation of 77 Chinese from Fiji on a chartered Chinese flight.
“What exactly is the extent of this? Were they Dual Citizens holding Fiji Passports? Were their human rights amply upheld during detention? How long has this manner of transnational crime been occurring? Are there any further details? Is this limited to telecom scams or were there also other illegal activities? What measures will the Government urgently implement to ensure there is no repetition?” Professor Prasad asked.
Professor Prasad said the Fiji First Government needs to be transparent and accountable with this issue for it involves Fiji’s border security, domestic security, as well as the immigration policies that the Government has implemented.
“The supervised repatriation of such a large number of Chinese people from Fiji on a chartered China Southern Airlines plane, with an even greater number of Chinese security personnel to escort them back to China has made international headlines, yet here in Fiji we have not heard a single word from this Government.”
“This is unprecedented and has never occurred under the watch of any Government.”
“I am urging the Prime Minister who is also the responsible minister for Immigration and his Fiji First Government to clearly and honestly come forward with the facts on this case of public interest.”
“The Chinese authorities are reportedly saying that this supervised repatriation involves individuals that are involved in telecom fraud, with dens being busted in Fiji.”
“There are however many lingering questions that the Government needs to answer for the sake of transparency and accountability of an issue of such a magnitude.”
“In May this year the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence tabled their report recommending that Fiji ratify the UN Convention Against Transnational Crime and 3 Protocols. One of the “Challenges” raised in the report by FRCA, DPP, the RFMF and Immigration Department is that they all said they needed to strengthen their collective collaboration. The lack of this collaboration has been laid bare for all to see.”
“Then the other challenge in the report is that the Immigration Department suggested that they take back the primary line because they are better specialised, is highly problematic as this role is now undertaken by FRCA. This is now a serious indictment on the porosity of our borders and it falls on the Government to come clean.”
“If this issue is not resolved and responded to quickly, the global community and their expectations on Fiji as a responsible State will not look very kindly on us and any global initiatives we advocate.”
Professor Biman Prasad