6 Feb 2006

Solomons' police chief praises officials after Fiji soldiers arrested for entering country illegally

8:52 pm on 6 February 2006

The Solomon Islands police commissioner, Shane Castles, has praised the actions of immigration officials who realised that 12 former Fiji soldiers had entered the country illegally.

The 12 planned to join five other former Fiji soldiers who have been providing security for a notorious money scam operator, Noah Musingku, in Bougainville.

The former soldiers, veterans of Middle East peace keeping missions, had been allowed to enter Honiara after they arrived on last Friday's flight from Nadi, but immigration officials found inconsistencies in their declaration forms.

Royal Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, says the 12 were arrested on Saturday.

He says he was surprised and pleased they had not dispersed.

"Probably not totally unexpected, but it's very good from my perspective and it's very pleasing from an Immigration and Customs Office perspective that the right sort of scrutiny and analysis was done on these cards which led to them being rounded up over the weekend and dealt with appropriately."