RARE CITIZENS’ DRUG ARRESTS
Commissioner Qiliho praises villagers for catching 11 suspects in Navosa and handing them over to Police
Villagers have made a rare citizens’ arrest of 11 suspects in alleged marijuana cultivation in Navosa highlands. Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho has applauded and welcomed the support shown by the villagers. The villagers handed the suspects over to the Operation Cavuraka team comprising Police and military officers based at the Keiyasi Police Station, Navosa, on Wednesday night.
The 11 are in addition to the 10 who were earlier charged and appeared at the Sigatoka Magistrates Court this week. Four had pleaded guilty and were jailed. The remaining six pleaded not guilty and are remanded at the Natabua Corrections facility in Lautoka. Brigadier-General Qiliho who was briefed by his Chief of Intelligence and Investigations ACP Luke Navela from Keiyasi, said he was sincerely grateful to the villagers for assisting the team. “Community partnership and the willingness to put a stop to criminal activities you know is happening, is what I have been emphasising through our Duavata Community Policing initiative and the events of last night is a true reflection of that,” he said. “This has just made our work a lot easier and I hope others will take note of this and do the same by working with the team to eradicate drugs from our society.” The 11 suspects continue to be questioned at the Keiyasi Police Station while another team of officers is also tracking down proceeds of crime. So far, generators and other household items have been seized.
Brigadier-General Qiliho said the support shown by the villagers was a testament that the people of Navosa no longer wanted to be associated with drugs. “I was humbled and pleased to read in the Fiji Sun that the Turaga Na Ka Levu, Ratu Kinijoji Vosailagi, had shown his support of Operation Cavuraka and his call to his people to support and provide us with information that could assist our investigation and last night’s event is a sign of that support. “For those who have information about similar drug related activities happening in their communities, let us know because one way or the other we will be getting to those involved as we have a mission to stop the cultivation and trade of marijuana that is negatively impacting our society.”
Police Commissioner BrigadierGeneral Sitiveni Qiliho.