Deported

Detainees being summarily deported from Fiji by Chinese authorities.

The Vanuatu Government found only one criminal of Chinese origin in the country and the man’s situation has been appropriately dealt with, the Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sumbue Antas confirmed.

He said the Chinese man entered Vanuatu and later was given Vanuatu citizenship.

“But after that when the government found out that the man was a criminal, his Vanuatu citizenship was revoked,” he added.

Now the man is living in Vanuatu, but he is stateless and the Chinese Government could not have him extradited because of his status, he added.

Mr. Antas gave an assurance that nothing like what took place in Fiji recently would happen in Vanuatu, when seventy-seven people, said to be suspects in a massive online fraud syndicate, were rounded up in Fiji and flown to China.

RNZI reporting the incident said no statement was made by authorities in Fiji at that time, but pictures showed the suspects were hooded and herded onto a chartered flight amid high security last week.

RNZI quoted China’s Xinhua news agency saying Chinese police sent a team to Fiji in July and the suspects were arrested in raids.

“We must know that as Vanuatu upholds human rights values, it must always think carefully in situations such as that, if the country extradites someone and this person faces the death penalty,” Sumbue Antas said.

He related a similar situation in Fiji last year involving a Vanuatu-flagged vessel fishing in Fiji waters that the Indonesian crew of six murdered the captain of the vessel.

“When the vessel arrived in Suva, allegation started circulating and the police investigated and confirmed the story.

“The Fiji Prosecution Department could not prosecute the six men said to be involved because they were under a Vanuatu-flagged vessel.

“The Indonesian Government wanted to get them to Indonesia to have them prosecuted there but Vanuatu did not allow.”

The Acting Director General said a lot of lengthy diplomacy was involved in the matter and finally the men were extradited from Fiji to Vanuatu and as of May this year they were still being detained in Port Vila awaiting prosecution.

He added that government was working to have a law dealing with matters on extradition of criminals from Vanuatu.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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