11 Nov 2004

Kuwait denies seeking Fijians for Iraq logistics work

9:43 am on 11 November 2004

The Kuwait-based Public Warehousing Company has denied any knowledge of a recruitment drive on its behalf for thousands of Fijians to work in providing logistics support in Iraq.

Tevita Lolohea, who said he represented the company, has been collecting US$100 each from thousands of people.

Mr Lolohea claimed the money was processing fees for purported job offers in Kuwait with salaries of up to US$3,600 a month.

But Fiji's labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, says his ministry has been in touch with the Kuwait company, which has denied authorising Mr Lolohea to represent it.

The company said Mr Lolohea did work for the company as a squad supervisor and was in Fiji only to nurse his sick wife, not for recruitment.

Mr Lolohea had told prospective employees he would go to Australia this week to obtain their visas from the Kuwait embassy in Canberra.

Mr Zinck says he has informed the prime minister, the police and the immigration authorities and it is now up to them to act.

For the past two weeks crowds have been milling around the Suva office where Mr Lolohea was doing his alleged recruitment, expecting to leave any time for Kuwait and high wages.