The Consumer Council of Fiji strongly urges organisations to update its fine payment records
appropriately and keep all relevant stakeholders informed so that consumers do not face
unwarranted disruptions during their travels.
This call comes in light of a recent case whereby a man was stopped twice at the international
airport whilst travelling out of Fiji, despite clearing his fine.
The complainant was fined for carrying apples in his luggage on a trip to Tuvalu in 2016, which
he cleared within 7 days. In 2017, the complainant was travelling to India from Fiji when he was
stopped from boarding the plane.
He was informed by officers at the airport that he had outstanding fees to pay.
Despite informing them that he had cleared the fine, the officers could not verify this on their record system, as it had not been updated.
The complainant had to call his wife in Suva to send a scanned copy of the fine clearance receipt.
Only after this unnecessary hassle was the complainant allowed to travel.
The second incident transpired this year where the complainant was travelling to Vanuatu. Officers
at the airport stopped the complainant and questioned him about the fines.
Feeling frustrated and embarrassed, he lodged a complaint at the Council.
Through the Council’s intervention, the complainant’s name was removed from the stop departure list.
Whilst the complainant was only given 7 days to clear the fine, the Council is appalled it took the
organisation 2 years to update its records.
There may be many more travellers who might be facing similar problems where the information
is not updated by the respective organisations.
The organisations must update their records accordingly to avoid loss of more money, time and
resources of consumers.