6 Feb 2006

Twelve former Fiji soldiers arrested in Honiara when trying illegally to get into Bougainville

7:57 pm on 6 February 2006

Solomon Islands immigration officials have thwarted an attempt by 12 former Fiji soldiers to illegally enter the neighbouring Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, through the Solomons.

It's believed the 12 intended meeting up with five other former Fiji soldiers who have been providing security for a notorious money scam operator in Bougainville.

The former soldiers were allowed to enter Honiara after they arrived on last Friday's flight from Nadi, but immigration officials later found inconsistencies in their declaration forms.

Royal Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, says the 12 were taken in for questioning on Saturday.

"It was established that these 12 former Fijian soldiers were intent on breaching, not only Solomon Islands law, in terms of providing false information on their incoming passenger declarations, they were also intent on moving through the Solomon Islands from here [Honiara] up to the Solomon Islands/Bougainville border and then crossing illegally into Bougainville."