CHAUDHRY QUESTIONS PROBE OF FIJI AGENT

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 7) – Fiji Opposition leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed concern over long delays in locating Timoci Lolohea of the Meridian Services Agency.

Mahendra Chaudhry said it was public knowledge that questions had been raised by hundreds of people over dealings with Lolohea.

"We are equally unable to understand why it is taking the Fiji government so long to bring Lolohea to Fiji. Maybe they are not taking the matter as seriously as they should and that is why it's taking so long for his arrest," said Chaudhry.

Last month an employee of Meridian Services Agency, who returned from Kuwait, said Fijian men recruited by Lolohea's security company could not return home because the Public Warehouse Company held their travel documents.

He said there were no contracts to clearly set out the conditions of the men's work, which left them at the mercy of Public Warehouse Company.

He said the 450 men were among the lowest paid because they were not contracted and not insured.

He said Lolohea, the recruiting agent for Meridian Services Agency was frequently in the office in Kuwait and was still trying to land jobs and contracts for all who had signed up in Fiji.

Police spokeswoman Sylvia Low said they had no idea of Lolohea's whereabouts. She said if Lolohea failed to turn up, the case would be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and they would decide whether to treat the case as a civil case.

February 8, 2006

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