7 May 2002

Fiji peacekeepers accused of trafficking in women in Bosnia

10:21 am on 7 May 2002

Fiji police serving on United Nations peacekeeping duties in Bosnia have been implicated in women trafficking.

The charges against the officers and their Pakistani station commander are said to include the recruitment of Romanian women, purchasing false documents for them and then selling the women to Bosnian brothels.

The racket has been uncovered by a United Nations human rights investigator in Bosnia, David Lamb.

Mr Lamb is quoted as saying he was threatened to limit his investigations to less serious charges of sexual misconduct.

He says there are more serious offences but reluctance on the part of the UN leadership to investigate the allegations has worsened the situation.

UN officials have said they are committed to combatting trafficking in women but a UN oversight team said there was insufficient evidence of systematic police involvement in the sex trade.

Senior police officers in Fiji say they are not aware of the report.