The Ministry for Home Affairs and Immigration has in collaboration with the Fiji Police Force initiated a thorough investigation into the alleged practice of retaining passports belonging to immigrant workers.
Minister Pio Tikoduadua says he has been made aware of concerns regarding Carpenters Fiji Limited and he will address these allegations.
Tikoduadua said it has come to their attention that a video has surfaced containing statements attributed to Daniel Whippy, the Managing Director of Carpenters Fiji Limited, allegedly acknowledging the retention of immigrant workers’ passports.
He said such actions are in clear contravention of the labour laws of Fiji, which prohibit the withholding of passports by employers and the Government is resolute in its commitment to enforcing these laws and ensuring the protection of all workers, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
Tikoduadua said they are working closely with other relevant authorities to gather all the necessary evidence and information and their priority is to determine the veracity of the claims and take appropriate action to address any violations of the law.
He added that migrant workers play a significant role in the development and growth of the nation, and Fiji owes them the utmost care and protection.
“Any exploitation or mistreatment of workers, including the retention of passports, will not be tolerated.
“Anyone who may have information or evidence related to this matter should come forward and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.”
“We will provide regular updates on the progress of the investigation as it unfolds.”