Former Fiji PM Has Diplomatic Passport Confiscated

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Chaudhry told passport invalid, claims to be target of ‘ploy’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 9, 2015) – A former Fiji Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he has been the target of a deliberate ploy after his diplomatic passport was confiscated at Nadi Airport.

Mr Chaudhry says he and his wife were passing through immigration bound for Sydney, when he was told his diplomatic passport -- issued to all former Prime Ministers -- was no longer valid on instruction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He says travel restrictions placed on him during his trial for breaches of the Exchange Control Act were lifted last July.

He says three weeks ago he wrote to the permanent secretary of immigration to clarify and was told he was free to travel.

But Mr Chaudhry says at the airport he was stopped.

"I spoke to the Director of Immigration from the airport and he said that he would get back to me in a few minutes, but he didn't, so there you are. I think this was done deliberately because they can't say they didn't have notice of my travel and they could have therefore notified me, three weeks is a long time."

Mahendra Chaudhry says he has since written to the permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs, but is yet to hear back.

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