Wednesday, 9 April 2008 1:25 PM

Asian Mafia Alleged to be in Solomon Islands

Asian based Mafia may have entered Solomon Islands through Papua New Guinea setting up a prostitution ring, allegedly involving three Chinese owned nightclubs, a restaurant and one general shop in the centre of Honiara.

Sources within Honiara and Port Moresby have stated that prostitutes from mainland China may be entering Honiara through Port Moresby. It is believed that the arrangement may involve the Asian Mafia, alleged to be very active in Papua New Guinea, but things are not entirely clear at this stage.

Reliable sources have revealed that the main organizer of the scheme is a close relative of a restaurant owner in Honiara who is currently in mainland China and is expected to return to Honiara soon.

It is also believed that the organizer in Honiara has been dealing with a particular officer within the immigration department to obtain the visas for these Mainland Chinese girls, working as prostitutes in Honiara.

Sources within the Asian community in Honiara have stated that the main customers for these Mainland China prostitutes are Malaysian loggers, and logging ships, that visit Honiara from time to time. Some of these girls are said to be housed in a secured house along the Tandai High Way in West Honiara.

The possibility of such a Mafia ring operating within the Solomon Islands only serves as a reminder of problems associated with corruption within the Public Service. Rob McCusker of the Australian Institute of Criminology, in a paper presented during a conference in Canberra in 2006, highlighted the risk posed by inherent weaknesses within many of the Pacific Islands. "..Economic weaknesses and their impact upon infrastructure, poverty and general instability may increase the attractiveness of the islands to transnational crime."

The revelations of such transnational criminals entering the Solomon Islands with relative ease are a huge concern to all right thinking Solomon Islanders. It is important to note that transnational criminals may import harden criminals into the country, our security forces are ill-equipped to deal with such new threats. This has the potential to grow and become a real national security threat to the Solomon Islands now and well into the future.

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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province