Tuvalu News

PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

CHINESE WITH MISSING TUVALU PASSPORTS DETAINED

SUVA, Fiji Islands (July 6, 1999 - PACNEWS/INCL)---Four Chinese men face deportation to China or Tuvalu, five months after three of them reportedly had their Tuvalu passports stolen.

Island Networks News reports that the bags were stolen at Nadi airport, when they arrived on February 5.

The fourth had a Chinese passport, which was confiscated by the Principal Immigration Officer (Western), Joe Nalewabau.

"We have learned that one of them works as a chef in a Nadi restaurant.

The four continue to be detained by Fiji immigration authorities.

Only one member of the group speaks English and he was able to confirm that their passports were stolen.

They bought their passports from the Tuvalu Government for $US 11, 000," Nalewabau said.

It is not known whether they have full citizenship status or whether their Tuvalu passports entitle them to business dealings only, according to Nalewabau. They have asked the Tuvalu Government to reissue the passports free of charge.

Tuvalu’s High Commissioner based in the capital, Suva, Enele Sapoanga, said Tuvalu immigration and foreign affairs officials in Funafuti would have to decide on the matter.

Tuvalu passport sales began last year as a means of raising Government revenue.

The project now is on hold pending a review.


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