PASSAGE TO GUAM COSTS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS US$ 20,000 - US$ 30,000, SAYS SENATOR

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HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Mary 6, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Guam Senator Mark Forbes claims illegal Chinese immigrants seeking asylum in Guam are charged $20,000 to $30,000 for their passage.

So far this year, hundreds of illegal immigrants have been detained in Guam while hundreds more have been intercepted and diverted to Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Senator Forbes said he has been informed that Chinese criminal groups known as the Snakehead Gangs, who operate from China's Fujian province, are behind the human smuggling operation.

He said that the gangs have agents in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and they developed plans to transport large numbers of illegal Chinese immigrants to Guam after monitoring the processing of Kurdish refugees through Guam in 1997.

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