Friday, 13 June 2008 10:00 AM

Fiji Immigration Warns of Education Scam

Fiji immigration has warned the public about an education scam that was uncovered when an Indian national was detained at Nadi International Airport, Fiji's main airport.

As reported by Fijilive, 'Immigration Director Viliame Naupoto told Fijilive the student arrived last Friday and was sent home three days later after being interviewed by local authorities'.

Mr. Naupoto said 'the man told them during interrogation that he had been attracted by a website to enroll at a Suva-based institution called University of Pacific International' and that 'the student told local officials that 20 others from India are expected to arrive soon following a "massive recruitment drive" there for the bogus institution'.

"The website www.universitypacific.com is professionally done and shows the picture of a beautiful university situated in Suva," said Naupoto, adding that, "It is very attractive to this people because it offers student tours to New Zealand, Australia and America".

The website is indeed professionally done with promises like every student will be given a laptop for 'flexibility and access to Technology to match to real life working environment', as it states on the site. It's easy to see how people could have been convinced by the information provided on the site.

Apparently, the contact information listed on the site for a fax number is to a local number in Fiji for an electrical company.
According to Fiji Times Online, 'Company director Mohini Ram said her husband met a man on a business trip to India. He accompanied her husband to Fiji and inquired with the authorities on the setting up of the university'.

The Fiji government is to inform its embassy in India as well as the Indian government to stop the recruitments as it is scamming people of a lot of money.

This is a similar incident to one reported by Solomon Times earlier in the year. Apparently, scams like this are common in the region with many unscrupulous people taking advantage of the region's distance from the rest of the world and its tropical scenic environment to attract people.