16 Jun 2004

Fiji confirm hotels and restaurants involved in Asian prostitution racket

3:35 pm on 16 June 2004

Fiji police say there is an Asian prostitution racket operating in Suva, involving a number of restaurants and hotels.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says Asian women are entering Fiji on legitimate visas but being diverted to work in the sex industry.

The Daily Post reports a Chinese restaurant owner known as Mr Big is understood to be charging the women fees of four thousand US dollars each to facilitate their entry into Fiji and act as their pimp.

However Mr Hughes would only confirm the hospitality industry is involved.

"We've got intelligence that we're following up on that there are in fact a number of establishments in Suva that are suspect in terms of that sort of activity. But clearly for operational reasons I can't go into the specifics of that intelligence."

The revelation follows last week's 600 million US dollar drug bust in Suva and a string of arrests in Fiji, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Mr Hughes says there is no link between the prostitution ring and the criminal syndicate involved in the production of meth-amphetamine.