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Human trafficking a growing concern

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE Department of Immigration has revealed there are indications that human trafficking is occurring in the remote and outer islands of Fiji.

Department manager permits Josua Mucunabitu said in an interview that villagers from some remote islands, including the Lomaiviti Group, had raised concerns regarding the number foreigners and yachts visiting their islands.

Mr Mucunabitu said there were signs indicating that human trafficking was happening in the remote islands. He has called on members of the public to notify them if they see a yacht entering their waters or is seen somewhere nearby.

"We have received calls from people from islands such as the Lomaiviti (Group) raising concerns on the number of foreigners visiting them," he said.

"We are organising a team to visit the islands and create awareness on the seriousness of human trafficking and how to stay away from it," he said.

Meanwhile, Roko Sau of Totoya Josefa Cinavilakeba said he told his people in the villages to keep an eye out on yachts entering the island.

Mr Cinavilakeba said he was aware of the risk factors the yachts could bring.

He said with the Department of Immigration highlighting the issue of human trafficking, he had instructed his people to monitor all yachts, check their permits and observe those on board.


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