27 Jun 2006

Fiji uncovers citizenship scam

2:06 pm on 27 June 2006

A Fiji government taskforce has uncovered a citizenship scam involving mainly Chinese and South Korean investors.

The Fiji Times quotes the taskforce chairman, David Tansey, as saying the scam started after the 2000 coup when government officials were bribed to award investors certificates.

Mt Tansey says those involved pretended to set up businesses, were granted investors certificates and then waited around for five years until they qualified for Fiji citizenship.

He says they have investigated 100 cases so far and found that many were engaged in illegal activities such as gambling and prostitution.

Their investors certificates have been cancelled and about a dozen have been deported.

Members of the investigative taskforce come from the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the police, the Fiji Trade and Investment Bureau and the Immigration Department.

The president of the Fiji Chinese Association, Lionel Yee, says the government should clamp down on Asians who enter the country through devious means.