Deportation pending for six Chinese nationals arrested in Vanuatu for allegedly running internet scam  

Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat. Picture: VANUATU DAILY POST

PORT VILA, 02 JULY 2019 ( VANUATU DAILY POST) – Six Chinese nationals who are currently facing deportation are still in Vanuatu, awaiting the finalisation of their paper works.

The required documents to facilitate airline clearance from Vanuatu to China are still being processed after Internal Affairs Minister Andrew Napuat called for assistance last week to get them back to China.

Confirmation from police sources revealed the wanted persons were released from police custody on Friday night last week, transferred to a motel in town under the supervision of the authorities, and the Vanuatu Government is currently paying for their accommodation expenses.

Police said the hardest part of the operation was to get them in custody, then taking care of the actual deportation later.

While the Director of Immigration could not be reached , Daily Post was told the Chinese nationals are in good hands awaiting the deportation.

Sources said they are all cleared ready to leave but are still stranded in the country awaiting more paper works to be cleared on the part of Vanuatu Police officers who will escort them to China.

These Vanuatu passport-holders were reportedly identified by Chinese authorities as operating an illegal internet-based scam against people in China from a property in Port Vila.

A joint Immigration Services and Police task force stormed a house located on the road to the wharf last week where Daily Post was informed that they then allegedly got rid of some materials at the scene.

They are currently detained and will be handed to the police in China.

Daily Post and Buzz FM contacted the Chinese Embassy for comment when the news broke on Friday last week but to date the Embassy has not responded.

The arrests come at a time of concern in some quarters about growing Chinese influence in the Pacific.

The United States and its ally, Australia, are particularly wary of Chinese diplomatic and economic inroads in the region.

In April, Vanuatu and China denied media reports that China wanted to build a permanent military base in the island nation.

In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai that China was not seeking a sphere of influence in the Pacific.

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