31 Oct 2002

Fiji police link rising crime rate to influx of illegal immigrants

12:12 pm on 31 October 2002

Fiji Police are linking the rising crime rate in the country to an influx of illegal immigrants.

The director of criminal investigations, Emosi Vunisa, has told the Fiji Times that police are doing all they can to help the Immigration Deaprtment bar illegal immigrants from the country.

Mr Vunia says police are concerned about the increase in illegal activities linked to Asians.

The director of immigration, Navendra Prasad, says most illegal immigrants come with work or visitor permits, but do not return when these expire.

Mr Prasad says there are regular raids to snatch illegal immigrants but they do not always meet with success.

He has denied reports of a scam involving immigration officers, saying there's no need for speculation until there is proof.

Meanwhile, the labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, has expressed concern about the high number of Asian workers employed in the local garment industry, saying these jobs should go to locals.