Crime & Court

1255 Passports Confiscated From Bogus Overseas Recruitment Agency: Bala

“Do not engage with unauthorised employment agencies or individual. If you want employment. We have employment ministry in all towns,” Mr Bala warned.
05 Mar 2020 11:15
1255 Passports Confiscated From Bogus Overseas Recruitment Agency: Bala
Boxes containing passports confiscated.

The Ministry for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations has confiscated 1255 passports after seizing them from a bogus recruitment agency.

The minister, Parveen Bala, confirmed this yesterday during his public talanoa session in Sigatoka town.

The operator of the unauthorised employment agency was Pijila Radinikabara Naikawakawavesi.

She was charged and convicted for duping people into enlisting and recruiting Fijians for overseas employment without any authorisation from the Ministry.

Mr Bala said the Employment Relations Tribunal decision on the case found the unauthorised agent breaching the Employment Relations Act 2007. He said the passports had been forwarded to the Fiji Immigration Department.

“Do not engage with unauthorised employment agencies or individual. If you want employment. We have employment ministry in all towns,” Mr Bala warned.

“Do not come to us when you have given them money. This is a classic example.

“Any person who operates an employment agency without proper authorization from the Ministry if found guilty by the court will be liable to a fine not exceeding $20, 000 or terms of imprisonment not exceeding four years or both,” warned Minister Bala.

He added that members of the public must liaise with the Ministry’s Compliance Section in getting details of the companies authorised by the ministry to send workers overseas.

The public can also demand the authorisation certificate from any person or company who are promising to send workers overseas employment opportunities, he added.

Details of sentencing

Meanwhile, Naikawakawavesi has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, of which she served two months effective immediately, with the remainder being suspended subject to a period of good behaviour for three years.

During the good behaviour period, Naikawakawavesi must refrain from being involved in any way or associated with enlisted or recruiting any person for employment under a foreign contract of service.

This includes registration, placing advertisements, interviewing, or the filing of vacancies and offering of employment contracts for or on behalf of any employer, whether national or foreign, for the purpose of securing a person for employment outside Fiji.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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