The Fijian government has ordered that former ministers should surrender their diplomatic passports and that they are not allowed to hold or use them any longer.
Immigration, National Security and Defence Permanent Secretary Osea Cawaru said that order is in terms of a new policy.
“It is advisable that those still using their old diplomatic passports should contact our Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately,” he said in a statement issued on January 8.
He was responding to queries about the confiscation of diplomatic passports of former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his wife Virmati at Nadi International Airport earlier that day.
According to Fiji Times, Mr Chaudhry said that he and his wife have been using their diplomatic passports since 1999. They were planning to be in Sydney to celebrate his 70th birthday.
“No one had informed us of the change in policy. We should have been notified and asked to return our diplomatic passports, instead of being embarrassed in such a manner. When I had written to Mr Cawaru to seek clarification on my travel restriction in December, I should have been advised there and then,” he said.