11 Nov 2003

Fiji police say chidren made up stories of abduction by body part traffickers

4:46 pm on 11 November 2003

Fiji police say recent reports of children being kidnapped in the country's west by a group of body parts traffickers were all made up.

The Fiji Sun reports that a psychologist sent by police commissioner Andrew Hughes to interview five children said they admitted they had fabricated the stories in a copy cat fashion.

Mr Hughes is quoted as saying there is no organ trade syndicate operating in Fiji and all the stories were self-perpetuating.

Mr Hughes says some young people had deep personal problems and were imagining and hallucinating.

He says media attention to the rumours and inappropriate behaviour on the part of some teachers had created hysteria and people were reacting to it.

During the height of the hysteria last week, some parents kept their children at home and some schools locked their gates during teaching hours.

Public fears had reached the point where two people, including a German tourist, were assaulted by bystanders who feared they were about to abduct their children.