Pubdate: Wed, 09 Nov 2005
Source: Asian Pacific Post, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Asian Pacific Post.


The New Zealand and Australian Governments are worried that ethnic
Chinese organised crime is menacing small Pacific Island states, says
Jane's Foreign Report.

The news service said New Zealand and Australia viewed with alarm the
evolution of transnational organised crime based on traffic in drugs,
people and weapons.

Greg Urwin, secretary-general of the 16-country Pacific Forum has
warned that the Pacific Islands are in danger of becoming "weak links
in the global fight against transnational crime and terrorism."

And Bire Kimisopa, the Papua New Guinea Police Minister, recently
conceded that corruption was rampant and "goes right to the top."

"Chinese mafia" had bought bureaucrats "throughout the system" and
tried to kill people who crossed them.

In Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, three ethnic Chinese businessmen have
been murdered this year.

The New Zealand police earlier this year spent over C$236,000 helping
bust a billion-dollar methamphetamine lab in Fiji when they helped
raid a factory in June, seizing drugs and chemicals with a street
value of C$1.3 billion, some of which was bound for New Zealand.

The laboratory in the Laucala Beach area would have churned out 1000
kilograms of the drug within a fortnight of the bust.

The raid is said to have been aided by the Pacific Transnational Crime
Co-ordination Centre set up by Australia in Suva last year to liaise
with transnational crime units set up in the past 18 months in Fiji,
the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

North of the equator, American agencies have expressed concern about
underworld gangs from China, Japan and South Korea engaged in money
laundering and drug running in the Mariana Islands and Guam, with
particular concern about Chinese Triad gangs, Japanese Yakuza, and
Korean "mafia."

The most common illegal activities in the Northern Marianas and Guam
=AD such as public corruption, the importation and sale of crystal
methamphetamine and immigration crimes are said to be orchestrated by
the gangs involved in gambling, prostitution, drugs, money laundering
and the exploitation of the immigrant population.

In the South Pacific, the two biggest and best-developed economies,
Fiji and Papua New Guinea, have been described as the primary
attractions for newly arriving ethnic Chinese.

Fiji Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Orisi Rabukawaqa warned in
September that Fiji was a regional hub for transnational crime
involving narcotics, credit card and passport fraud, money laundering,
prostitution and murder.

Examples from the past five years included a 357 kilogram heroin bust
involving Hong Kong Chinese criminals using Fiji for moving the
narcotics to New Zealand, Australia and Canada; a 74 kilogram
methamphetamine shipment from Singapore destined for Australia; and
the murders of ethnic Chinese over gang and business disputes.

Earlier this year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that some
Pacific Island countries had become "stepping stones" for thousands of
Chinese seeking to enter Australia through immigration scams organised
by transnational crime syndicates.

The syndicates were reported to be at the centre of burgeoning
"polycrime" involving extortion, money laundering, illegal gambling,
prostitution, and even the plundering of oceans and forests.

The newspaper said that rampant corruption had allowed Chinese
syndicates to gain a foothold, with payoffs to officials to grant
investment approvals, work permits, visas, citizenship certificates
and passports identified in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands,
Vanuatu and Fiji.

Fiji television reported recently that the nation`s Immigration
Department had stopped accepting cash for fees for passports and work
permits. Immigration director Eroni Luveniyali said bank cheques would
be "safer and more secure."

But Australian officials have also said that criminals have obtained
diplomatic passports by bribing politicians. At the end of last year,
a minister in the Solomon Islands, Clement Rojumana, was arrested over
his alleged role in the corrupt granting of citizenship certificates
to Chinese.

In nearby Papua New Guinea, which has seen an unprecedented influx of
Chinese, the National Intelligence Organisation stated that the way
had been left open for "criminals, drug traffickers and

There are also corruption investigations under way in Fiji, where the
new wave of Chinese arrivals has been estimated to be about 7000 in
the past two years =AD a figure considered second only to the influx
into Papua New Guinea, according to Jane`s.

Gruesome murders of ethnic Chinese in Pacific countries as a result of
gang and business disputes include the hammer killing of two Chinese
in Vanuatu and the shootings in Fiji of three Hong Kong men over the
lucrative export of shark fins, and the dismembering of a Chinese
woman engaged in prostitution in Fiji.

Pacific hot spots


A regional hub for transnational crime, including narcotics, credit
card and passport fraud, money laundering, prostitution and murder.

Papua New Guinea

Police minister claims corruption by "Chinese mafia" runs "right to
the top".


Former minister arrested for alleged role in granting citizenship
certificates to Chinese.


Three ethnic Chinese businessmen murdered this year.
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MAP posted-by: Derek