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By Vasemaca Rarabici

SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 18, 2001 – Fiji Times)---Two Asian women who came to Fiji for a holiday claim they were tricked into prostitution by the local travel agent who had arranged their visa. They claim the local agent had contacts in China through whom they applied for a visa.

The women, who did not want to be named for fear of victimization, said the agent had finalized all travel arrangements and promised them an unforgettable three-month holiday.

Through an interpreter, the women said the agent met them at the airport and referred them to a flat on Rewa Street in Suva.

This was despite the fact that they had asked for hotel accommodations. The two accepted the offer because they were promised cheaper rates at the flat at F$ 600 (US$ 263.22) for three months.

According to the elder of the two women, aged 33, as soon as they arrived they were approached by male Chinese nationals whom they believed were friends of the agent.

They said they were forced to join a group of prostitutes and pay F$ 30 (US$ 13.16) in commission for each client they slept with. The women were told their lives would be at stake if they refused to cooperate.

"The Chinese men said they were very powerful and knew a lot of police officers so we were wasting our time if we wanted to report the matter to police,'' one of the woman said.

"But we managed to tell one Chinese man working in Fiji who then reported it to police.''

They said they had been living in fear and were eager to return home this Thursday.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.



SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 17, 2001 – Sun/PINA Nius Online)---The Chinese Triad, described as a big, complex and dangerous network of Chinese mafia, has hit Fiji, according to a front-page report today by the Sun newspaper.

The criminal network is linked to recent cases in Fiji of fake passport rackets, counterfeit note production, prostitution and gambling, the Sun said.

It comes amidst a rapid growth in Fiji's Chinese population, with an influx from Mainland China and Hong Kong.

A special Sun investigation team linked the Triad to a murder in Nausori, near Suva, last year.

The Sun team said it has discovered some senior Government officials are on the Triad’s payroll. At least two are said to be very senior police officers, it said.

The Sun said a Government document calls a woman allegedly leading the group the "Chinese Mafia Queen of Fiji."

The Sun said it will be running a series of reports based on information from police officers and detectives and a group of Chinese nationals.

It said some of the Chinese its reporters spoke with had police in civilian clothing as their bodyguards.

For additional reports from the Fiji Sun, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Sun.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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