How were 300 Koreans allowed to work in Fiji?

grace road

The Fiji government needs to explain how hundreds of South Koreans have been allowed into Fiji to work for firms connected to the controversial Grace Road Church, a union leader says.

Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka is also calling urgently for an investigation into the running of the Grace Road Group.

The Grace Road Group of companies runs dozens of businesses in Fiji employing at least 300 Koreans and 100 locals.

Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary Felix Anthony said the case had exposed local immigration and labour authorities.

Anthony said it was not the only company that was bringing in foreign workers.

“Work permits are issued willy-nilly despite the fact that we have workers in Fiji who could do [that] work and we have people unemployed in this country. So it’s all about cheap labour.”

Rabuka claimed that since 2014, the church had established a group of at least eight limited liability companies in Fiji.

He also claimed that the group’s construction arm was carrying out refurbishment of the official residences and executive office of two high Fijian Government officials.

“It is also interesting that in October 2017, after only three years in Fiji, the Grace Road Group was awarded the Prime Minister’s International Business Award supported by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

“The award was given on the premise that the company demonstrated innovative farming methods, passion and a strong desire for quality leading to excellence.”

The six members of the Grace Road Church in Fiji were detained after its founder, Shin Ok-Joo, was arrested in Seoul for enslavement.

They have subsequently been released without charge after the intervention of the Attorney General’s office.

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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