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By Evelyne Toa

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (The Independent, Oct. 2) – A group of four Chinese women understood to be involved in what police termed "Chinese prostitution" arrived in Port Vila from Fiji on August 23.

After a month in the country, and through the police international network, Vanuatu Police Force traced where they were staying in the capital.

Their journey was stopped short. The Independent was told that an arrangement was made between police and authorities from both Vanuatu and Fiji and they were sent back to Nadi, Fiji last Thursday.

It is understood the girls received assistance from the Chinese Embassy in Port Vila to purchase their return tickets following a formal request.

It is also understood that Vanuatu Police Force together with the transnational network will discover those who are behind their coming, as they believe certain local Chinese residents are involved in the matter.

"Following this, local community leaders and relevant authorities have to take extra care to ensure Vanuatu is not a place where such people can easily come. An appeal goes to our leaders not to turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the matter but to take appropriate measures in controlling the movement of Chinese newcomers to the country.

"We notice that nowadays we have many new Chinese people, most of them employed in shops in town. Members of the public realize they are new because of the language problem," said our informant.

Regarding Chinese investors employing Chinese for shop jobs, the commissioner of labour, Lionel Kaluat, has stated that Chinese investors don't need Chinese workers in their shops, a job that is reserved to ni-Vanuatu. Kaluat made that statement following an incident a month ago, where a Chinese investor clashed with the labour department for employing a Chinese relative as a shopkeeper, instead of a ni-Vanuatu. The department discovered the mistake when the investor was seeking a work permit for the employee.

October 6, 2005

Port Vila Presse:

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