6 Nov 2008

PNG to deport Ramu workers from China found without permits

7:54 pm on 6 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's deputy Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu says Chinese workers at the Ramu nickel mine project found to be without proper work permits will be deported.

This comes amid raids at the mine in Madang province by PNG police and immigration officials, resulting in over a hundred Chinese being arrested for allegedly working illegally in the country.

The Chinese Government company building the mine, the MCC, says it has been waiting, in some cases for over a year, for more than 200 work permits to be processed.

The MCC has called on government agencies to speed up the vetting process.

However, Dr Temu says Immigration and Labour officials are checking all 800 workers for proper documentation:

"Requirements by law must be fully complied with and so the process itself will be allowed to identify those who are there with the wrong permits and then we'll ensure the MCC that these guys are here illegally and therefore they should be deported back to the country."

Puka Temu