24 Feb 2005

PNG governor says 300 Chinese to be deported

2:18 pm on 24 February 2005

The Milne Bay governor, Tim Neville, says the Papua New Guinea government has agreed to deport 300 Chinese nationals on board 20 fishing vessels arrested in his province.

Although the company which owns the vessels is registered in PNG, the vessels have been impounded under the Fisheries Act for not having licenses to fish or permits to be in Milne Bay

Mr Neville has made allegations in parliament that top officials have been involved in allowing the Chinese to fish illegally in PNG.

But he says the acting Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu, and the fisheries minister have now agreed that the Chinese breached PNG immigration laws and should be deported.

"That visas or work permits are required. They have none of that. Secondly, they're suppose to pay 2000 kina per work permit or visa which is a loss of about 600,000 kina to the government. Thirdly they're supposed to have medical certificates to clear them of any diseases such as AIDS or TB, and police checks to make sure that we're not dealing with any particular criminals. Now none of that was done."

Milne Bay governor Tim Neville