FIJI POLICE CHIEF SAVUA TELLS OF SUSPECTED PEOPLE SMUGGLING BOAT

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 27, 2002 - The Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Two boats carrying what are suspected to be illegal immigrants have been spotted near Fiji, Police Commissioner Isikia Savua said.

The commissioner -- who recently spoken out strongly about the growing number of people illegally in Fiji -- said local people are allegedly helping those operating the boats.

The commissioner called for an immediate strengthening of Fiji's immigration laws to combat people smuggling and visa overstayers. He earlier linked recent increases in crime with Fiji's fast growing Asian population, which is mainly Chinese.

Commissioner Savua has offered to provide police officers to help the Immigration Department track down and remove people in Fiji illegally.

Immigration director Narend Prasad said: "I think there is a need for dialogue at this point because these matters can be discussed openly between myself, the Police Commissioner and the Home Affairs Minister."

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

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

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