DISGRUNTLED FIJI MERCENARIES RETURN FROM IRAQ

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SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Mar. 11) - A group of Fiji soldiers employed by Global Risk Strategies who have just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq are after Sakiusa Raivoce’s scalp.

Their spokesman, Waisale Raba, said they were very disappointed with how they were treated after being recruited to work for the British security company by Raivoce, its Fiji representative.

Raba said the officers who signed with the British security company were not properly briefed on their engagement in war-torn Iraq.

According to Mr Raba, they were never told they would be involved in the transportation and distribution of the new currency to all banks in Iraq.

"We were told by Mr Raivoce before we left for Iraq that we would be providing security for the banks, United Nations officials and oil fields," Mr Raba said.

However, he said when they arrived in Iraq, they were told to deliver the new currency to all banks around Iraq.

Mr Raba said they were told they would receive an allowance but this never eventuated.

To make things worse for them, many claimed they were not properly paid.

Mr Raba had only $4,000 in his account when he returned to Fiji after six months in Iraq.

He had expected more, as according to his contract, he was to receive $3,000 per month.

He also questioned why the deposits made into his account at Colonial National Bank differed.

The first deposit, made on September 29, 2003, was for $2,395.87; on November 12, 2003, $2,291.96; on December 17, 2003, $2,050.23 and on January 13, 2004, $2,320.57.

He said most of them were still waiting for their parcels Mr Raivoce brought with him when he visited them before Christmas.

Mr Raba said they had engaged Suva lawyer Isireli Fa to fight their case in court as they felt they had been cheated.

He said while they congratulated Mr Raivoce for recruiting them to the GRS operation in Iraq, they were not happy with how they were treated.

The GRS officers are now divided, with a group supporting Mr Raivoce.

Mr Raivoce strongly denied allegations against him and said he had been fair to every one of the officers.

He had earlier mentioned that the auditors would audit the company’s account and this would be made public for all to see.

On Mr Raba’s case and those behind him, Mr Raivoce said he had with him all documents about the wages and the company’s auditors would soon audit all accounts of the company.

March 12, 2004

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

 

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