24 Feb 2003

Media in Fiji say deported Muslim leader had been photographing the US embassy in Apia

11:40 am on 24 February 2003

Media reports in Fiji say a Sudanese national, deported late last week, has been accused of photographing the US Embassy in Samoa.

Abdul Majid, the head of the Suva Based Islamic Institutue of the South Pacific, had been resident in Fiji for 18 years.

The Director of Immigration, Joseph Browne, has confirmed the explusion was on security grounds.

Local media have reported that police had raided Mr Majid's home and found thirty thousand US dollars, allegedly sent from Saudi Arabia for distribution to the poor.

He is also said to have travelled to Vanuatu and Tonga as well as Samoa.

Mr Majid and a colleague were questioned on arrival in Vanuatu but released after convincing authorities they were visiting local Muslims.

Muslims in Fiji are reported to be demanding an explanation for the deportation.