Solomons Seasonal Work Agent Unlicensed By Government

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Waleilia allegedly failed to meet work scheme requirements

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 20, 2012) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade yesterday clarified circumstances surrounding a local recruiting agent in the Solomon Islands who was accused of taking money and passports.

Hundreds of people claimed they were made to pay and surrendered their passports to a local agent, to work in Australia under the seasonal workers scheme, but that he disappeared.

The Ministry confirmed the person was never approved by the Ministry.

The Ministry’s trade director Jack O’oi said Peter Waleilia was never issued any license to recruit workers under the seasonal workers scheme.

"There are only six licensed and genuine local recruitment agents currently in the country, who applied and were approved by the Labour and Mobility Division under the seasonal workers scheme here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Apart from these six, no one else should recruit people and people must not fall into giving away money and their passports."

Mr. O’oi also clarified that Mr. Waleilia had initially applied to be an agent, however was not considered as he had already violated some of the conditions under the seasonal workers scheme.

"I will again stress out that Peter Waleilia is not a licensed recruitment agent and therefore people should not pay any fees to him, hoping to work under the seasonal workers scheme," he said.

Mr. Waleilia who claimed to be the recruitment agent for an Australian Company, PP Employment Agency LTD, this year allegedly took money worth more than SB$500,000 [US$] from clients in the name of airfares and other related fees.

The clients have not heard from Mr. Waleilia, who last month closed down his office at the Pacific Casino and vacated his home at Vura.

They threatened to take legal action against him if he fails to refund their money.

Mr. Waleilia this week insisted his clients will still be going over to Australia.

He said the delay was because some documents were yet to be processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in the country.

But the Ministry said they do not deal with people without licenses to recruit.

People who were tricked into paying yesterday reiterated their call for Mr. Waleilia to refund their money and return their passports.

They said they are about to lodge a complaint to police to investigate.

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