22 Mar 2006

Fiji minister warns of possible attempt by Fiji nationals to enter Bougainville illegally

8:54 am on 22 March 2006

Border authorities in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have been put on alert to look out for 300 Fiji nationals suspected to be planning to enter Bougainville.

Fiji's foreign affairs minister, Kaliopate Tavola, has told the Fiji Times from Geneva that the list of 300 names has been given to police and immigration in the three countries.

Mr Tavola says it is suspected that those on the list want to link up with the failed money scheme operator and self-proclaimed King Noah Musingku in Bougainville's NO-GO zone.

Solomon Islands police commissioner, Shane Castles, says he has written to his Fiji counterpart, Andrew Hughes, providing him with a comprehensive report to enable him to tackle the problem from within Fiji.

Mr Castles says police are aware of a company in Fiji that has recruited and facilitated the movement of former soldiers who were trying to illegally move through Solomon Islands on their way to Bougainville.

Mr Castles says if any of the 300 tries to transit Solomon Islands, they would be identified and stopped.