Nurses duped by bogus agent

August 4, 2022 6:00 am

There have been revelations that some of our retired and current nurses have fallen victim to an illegal recruitment agency.

The matter was reported to the Fiji Nursing Association earlier this week, who are now looking at avenues to recover the losses.

General Secretary, Filomena Talawadua says they are concerned as these nurses have submitted their personal information to this bogus agent.

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She adds that at least 14 retired nurses were lured with false promises that there is an opportunity for work in Australia, and ended up paying an estimated $293 for visa processing to an unclassified recruitment agency.

“This person poses to be the Director Ministry of Youth and Sports and he uses the name of the former Director, Mr. William Naisara, falsely stating that he and his team are working under the Vuvale partnership. The same person also claims to be Director of Labour/NEC and he uses mobile number 9411163 to communicate with his targets.”

Permanent Secretary for Employment, Osea Cawaru clarified that every applicant who wishes to engage in the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme under the Vuvale partnership isn’t supposed to be paying a fee.

He also confirmed the matter has been reported to the Fiji Police Criminal Investigations Department, and an investigation is underway, as it is a breach under Section 37 of the Employment Relations Act of 2007.

“Based from the investigations that are currently underway, if it is confirmed that is a breach then that’s the offence. The fine is an amount not exceeding $20,000 or a term of four years imprisonment or even both.”

Cawaru stresses that if people walk into your premises claiming to be recruiting workers, Fijians have every right to ask for their license, endorsed by the Permanent Secretary for Employment or inquire with any Labour Officer at a nearest Ministry of Employment Office.

FBC News has been trying to call the owner of the alleged bogus agency, but there has been no response until now.