A NEW prostitution racket has been discovered in Fiji, some involving female tertiary students from Suva.
The racket involves large sums of money being sent to some young girls as well as school students from a group of males overseas for common prostitution.
The prostitution racket was uncovered recently by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit through their intelligence system.
Confirming this in an interview, FIU director Razim Buksh said several remittances from Australia, all of which were low value transactions that were consistent with the value of payments for common prostitution service.
"The transactions ranged from $50 to $500," Mr Buksh said.
He said his office was investigating the case of an Australian national who frequently remitted funds from Australia to young females in Fiji.
"The funds were being sent to Fiji through foreign exchange dealers."
He revealed that a portion of the money being transferred was to a young female studying at a tertiary institute in Suva.
Mr Buksh said in the racket, what happened was that the suspect would travel to Fiji for only a short duration, usually for two to six days and stay in upmarket hotels.
"These young females had similar profiles, either they were unemployed or were students. The above indicators together with FIU's networking, it is highly suspected that the suspect was conducting financial remittance transactions from Australia to Fiji as payments to the young females involved in prostitution.
"The suspect was a frequent traveller to Fiji and during the initial stages of analysis conducted by the FIU, it was revealed that there was no apparent relationship between the suspect and the young female."
Mr Buksh said additional profiling of the suspect using FIU's data mining system revealed that the suspect was also sending money to other individuals to facilitate payment for prostitution services.
"The case is still under investigation and it is early to determine if the suspect is engaged in other organised criminal activities."