Fijians ‘flee’ detention area

National, Normal


IMMIGRATIONS  authorities discovered late yesterday afternoon that the 14 Fijians had “fled” from their lawful immigration detention custody at  Noko Guest House in Boroko.
Immigration authorities said this was another violation of the Immigration Act. 
Immigration officials  said the 14 Fijians were initially in detention because they did not have the proper work permits to be employed by the Simberi Gold mine in New Ireland province.
After investigating, authorities found that the Fijians were in the country on business visas and came under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) notice which would entitled them to get visas on arrival in PNG.
Yesterday, presiding judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi said if this was the case, they were required to produce details of the meeting (under the MSG visit) and other events within the MSG itinerary.
On Wednesday, Justice Kandakasi asked the Fijians to produce the legal documents to verify their claims but their lawyer asked for an adjournment in order to seek proper instructions to produce the necessary documents.
The court was adjourned to yesterday but still there were no documents produced.
The Fijians’ defence counsel sought court approval for an adjournment to next Wednesday  to “prepare properly”.
However, Justice Kandakasi  said: “If you are in the country legally, your legal documentations should be on you.
“You should have them ready before you enter the country.
 So, I will only adjourn to next Monday,” he said.
In a twist of events, the 14 Fijians were not found where they had been detained for the past week.
Authorities told The National that “there is definitely a misunderstanding of the court directives”.
But before doing so, Justice Kandakasi “lifted the earlier interim injunction” which ordered the State to foot the bills for the Fijians’ stay at the Noko Guest House in Boroko.
Justice Kandakasi then ordered Allied Gold Company Ltd to pay the costs for their continued stay until Monday.
The National contacted O’Brien Lawyers, and confirmed that the Fijians had been relocated.
A source from the law firm said the court’s directive for the Fijians’ employer to start footing the bill, made them move places.