14 Oct 2003

Chinese run scam unveiled in Palau

6:21 pm on 14 October 2003

Almost two dozen Chinese are to return home after flying to Palau last month on false promises of work, English language lessons and eligibility to work in the U.S.

The passengers paid 5-thousand U.S. dollars for the scam which was uncovered by immigration officials following their arrival on three commercial flights.

Our correspondent in Palau, Scott Radway, says investigations are continuing into how the scam operated.

He says one of the passengers, Feng Yamei, took payments.

"It appears she also set up living arrangements here in Palau, this woman, Feng Yamei, had actually been to Palau about a year before. Immigration officials believe that was probably to visit the location and make some of the arrangements."

Mr Radway says the 23 people are now returning to China following the discovery that the English Language Centre they were to attend, does not exist.

He says investigations are continuing as to who was involved in Palau in setting up the scheme.