THE Fiji Navy carries out a thorough check of yachts found anywhere in Fiji waters during its patrols.
Chief of Fiji Navy Commander John Fox said "we actually do boarding of all yachts we find anywhere and we go through their paperwork to see that everything is in order".
"But there has never been a case of human trafficking so far. Even if yachts leave Fiji, Customs officials really go through them with a fine tooth comb," he said.
Cdr Fox said he did not think that human trafficking happened through yachts, saying that 99 per cent of the yachting community in Fiji were law-abiding citizens.
He said in the latest case where a woman was found on a yacht near Rakiraki, it was confirmed that she knew the yacht owner.
On the Navy's patrols of the Bligh Waters near Malake Island in Rakiraki, he said: "Fiji is wide open and it's easy for yachts to come in undetected. But we do constant patrolling and we even patrol that area. Village heads tell us if they see a yacht near their islands and even if yachts want to go to any island, then they have to take permission from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs."
Cdr Fox said the Navy carried out patrols quite often.
"We don't have a schedule. We do it at different times so people don't know," he said.
The Navy Commander was commenting, when asked in light of recent reports of suspected human trafficking in the Rakiraki area, on the navy's role in patrolling Fiji waters.
In 2005, three teenage sisters from Naria in Rakiraki went missing after a fishing trip to Malake Island with a man, who is serving a life sentence for their murders.
Cdr Fox said, "Definitely those three girls were murdered. I was part of the search."
Their bodies were never found.