The Belgium Job: 223 Illegal Chinese Workers at Ramu
If there ever was a perfect example of the gross cheating of constitutional duty in regard to foreign policy by the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, one should not look much further than the PNG Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
How the bloody hell does an embassy, a body of persons entrusted with the mission to represent, serve, and protect a sovereign or government and its citizens, somehow manage to thoughtlessly approve a total of 223 visas to Chinese nationals intending to do business in PNG?
It’s unheard of.
Following a week-long joint special operation made up of officers from the departments of Labour, Foreign Affairs and members of the Trans-National Crime Unit, 62 Chinese nationals were charged on November 4th (Tuesday) for illegally working in PNG. On November 5th (Wednesday), another 41 non-citizens, all from mainland China, were apprehended for breaches of PNG labor and immigration laws.
If that wasn’t enough to make one sit up, take notice, and mutter a few expletives, on November 7th (Friday) PNG officials arrested another 120 more Chinese illegal workers at the Basamuk refinery site in Madang!
Which brings the total (so far) of illegal workers on site at the Ramu mine to a grand 223.
Now all 223 illegal workers have three things in common:
- They’re all from mainland China
- They’re all ultimately employed by MCC Ramu NiCo Ltd
- They were all issued with business visas by the PNG Embassy in Belgium
By far the main issue here is the fact that there has been blatant abuse of our country’s immigration laws, that is, 223 Chinese nationals were working full-time in PNG while on business visas. Under PNG laws, foreigners being engaged in a paid job while on a business visa is strictly prohibited.
MCC Ramu NiCo Ltd have since unashamedly admitted that they had been bringing in Chinese people with valid business visas to work in the mine to fast-track construction in order to beat the wet season. Their reasoning behind not complying with PNG immigration and labour laws? PNG is taking too long to process more than 200 work permits.
One very disconcerting point here is that all 223 illegal Chinese nationals were issued with business visas from our Embassy in Belgium.
How can one approve 223 business visa applications for Chinese nationals who were born, educated, live and work in mainland China, and not wonder why they are making the effort to send their visa applications all the way to Brussels when Beijing is just around the corner?
Maybe it’s just me – but surely wouldn’t that at least raise an eyebrow.