Three Asian nationals alleged to be involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution appeared in the High Court in Suva today.
Phanat Lagindamanee, Zhang Yong and Lum Bing together with three women were apprehended by Fiji’s Immigration department on September 5 before being charged by the Fiji Police force on September 7.
High Court Judge Justice Paul Madigan heard from Thailand national, Lagindamanee’s lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma that his client was a first time visitor to the shores of Fiji and does not know anybody here and does not understand English either.
Vakaloloma also filed an application for his bail but Justice Madigan refused to grant bail to Lagindamanee as he had his own business in Thailand, does not know anybody in Fiji and has been alleged for a serious offence.
The second accused, Yong is being represented by Akuila Naco who is yet to file for his bail application because he has not been able to communicate with his client on his wishes as they are still looking for a Mandarin interpreter. The accused is holding a Fijian passport.
Meanwhile, bail application for the third accused, Bing was also refused has he also had his business and family in Malaysia and has no ties in Fiji. Bing during his conscience interview said that he met Lagindamanee and the three women in a flight from Bangkok to Fiji.
The case has been adjourned to October 17.
By Indrani Krishna