27 Feb 2006

Solomons police catch fugitive former Fiji soldier

1:01 pm on 27 February 2006

Solomon Islands police have arrested a former Fiji soldier who escaped from immigration detention after being stopped from illegally travelling to Bougainville to work for a wanted conman.

His escape in early February meant he missed that day's plane back to Fiji with 11 of his colleagues who were sent back for breaching Solomons immigration laws.

Kinivuai Vakatawanavatu Sulua is expected to be deported after his arrest over the weekend at a residence in Tetere about 30 kilometres east of the capital, Honiara.

The news agency, AAP, reports that information from the public led to the 31-year-old's arrest.

Solomon Islands police believed the group of 12, including Sulua, planned to travel illegally to Papua New Guinea's Bougainville province to join five other former Fiji soldiers training a security force for self-proclaimed king, Noah Musingku, in a rebel-controlled no-go zone.