20 Dec 2003

Fiji government announces inquiry into fishing bribes allegations

8:05 am on 20 December 2003

The Fiji cabinet has agreed to appoint a commission of inquiry to look into allegations that fishing licenses are being sold to Asian fishermen in return for large amounts of cash.

FijiTV reports that the allegations against two cabinet ministers and senior fisheries officials have been made in affidavits given to police by the managing director of Fiji Fish Limited, Graham Southwick.

Police have begun an investigation into the claims.

But Mr Southwick says the latest cabinet decision on a commission of inquiry is a waste of time.

He says there have already been three inquiries into the fishing industry but all their recommendations have been rejected by the authorities.

Mr Southwick says the result of the latest inquiry will also be rejected because the authorities have a seperate agenda.