7 Nov 2011

Phone company rejects claims it's involved in phone bugging in Fiji

4:18 pm on 7 November 2011

Vodafone Fiji is strongly denying claims made by a former army colonel that the company is involved in phone tapping.

Ratu Tevita Mara, who fled Fiji in May while facing sedition charges, says phone and internet tapping started in early 2007, under the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and Vodafone is the main company involved.

He says he was present when Mr Bainimarama read over transcripts of private conversations and says IT specialists from overseas have been brought in to help.

"It obviously has increased more and now with the IT technicians from India who came in and I've heard also that they've got technicians from China also who are there assisting in this."

The former army colonel Ratu Tevita Mara.

Vodafone Fiji insists it does not have the technology to allow mobile phones to be intercepted and says no military personnel have ever been permitted to enter its exchange nor to monitor calls.