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Police Kept Quiet To Not Jeopardise Chinese Anti-fraud Operation: Qiliho

Police Kept Quiet To Not Jeopardise Chinese Anti-fraud Operation: Qiliho
Acting Police Commissioner, Sitiveni Qiliho.
August 09
11:00 2017

 

Intelligence on the illegal activities of the 77 Chinese nationals who were flown out of country over the weekend was so precise  that some were arrested at the Nadi International Airport as they attempted to enter Fiji.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho yesterday spoke out for the first time about the covert operation undertaken by the Fiji Police Force and its Chinese counterpart five days after 77 Chinese nationals were escorted out of country by Chinese police officers.

“We could not release any information about the covert operation. We were arresting some as they flew into the country. In one instance, seven Chinese nationals were arrested as they got off the flight to enter Fiji. Two travelled business class and five travelled economy,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

There have been a lot of comments on social media and even political parties questioned why no information about the operation was forthcoming.

Mr Qiliho explained that the nature of a covert operation is such that Police do not give a running commentary of what they are doing. The arrest of the 77 Chinese nationals in Fiji has been one of its kind which required a lot of reconnaissance work done by Fijian Police officers on the ground.

And, given that the Chinese nationals will face trial, they did not want to jeopardise the operation or the subsequent court trial by releasing all types of information as the matter proceeded.

He has also pleaded with people to be mindful of the types of comments they make on social media about the Chinese community in Fiji.

“These are not bad people. We have done similar co-operation work with the Australian police officers where Australian nationals had been arrested but that does not make Australians bad people,” he said.

Similarly, he said, the entire Chinese community in Fiji should not be ostracised in light of the recent arrests.

The Police Force is keeping a watch on the nature of comments made on social media to ensure hate crime is not propagated on social media.

He stressed that there were no Fijians who fell victims to the alleged crimes of the 77 Chinese nationals.

A joint statement between the Fiji Police Force and the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China stated: “The Fiji Police Force and the Department of Immigration facilitated the protocol and approval that was sought from relevant authorities whereby the investigation into the alleged activities began.

“The month long operation has seen Fijian law enforcement agencies deal with the alleged breaches in visa conditions in accordance with relevant laws and regulations of Fiji.

“Following a thorough investigation conducted by the three law enforcement agencies, we can confirm that no Fijian was a victim of the group’s alleged illegal activities.

“These 77 Chinese nationals have been sent back to China from Fiji on August 4, 2017. It is reported that the above mentioned Chinese nationals are suspected to be involved in more than 50 telecom and online fraud cases targeting Chinese citizens in China amounting to more than six million yuan (892,000 U.S. dollars, FJ$1,797,605.15). The case is under further investigation in China.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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