6 Jun 2006

Marshall Islands cracking down on illegal immigrants

6:16 am on 6 June 2006

A raid by Marshall Islands immigration and police at the weekend

netted a dozen Chinese nationals illegally in the country.

New Attorney General, Posesi Bloomfield, says the group included Chinese nationals who had overstayed their visas anywhere from six months to as long as eight years.

High Court Judge Richard Hickson set bail at $1,500, and a dozen of the

group, nearly all women who are suspected of working illegally as hostesses,

handed over $18,000 in cash to secure their release from jail.

In addition to the large group arrested over the weekend, another group

of five young Chinese women came forward on their own to the Attorney

General¹s office saying they have been stranded without money as a result of

their sponsor-business, a restaurant and bar, closing.

They told the High Court that they want to return home as soon as possible.

Attorney General Bloomfield has promised more action against overstayers in the weeks ahead.