Po­lice tar­get drug ex­change at sea

Fiji Sun - - Nation - FONUA TALEI Edited by Mo­hammed Ali Feed­back: fonua.talei@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Fiji Po­lice Force Drugs Unit has caught more than 20 cases of drug traf­fick­ing by the use of out­board boats. De­tec­tive Sergeant Usaia Donu of the Po­lice Drugs Unit said they had re­ceived many cases from Po­lice posts at Port Muai­walu and the outer is­lands where the ex­change of drugs was be­ing car­ried out on board ves­sels.

“Many cases has been re­ported to us es­pe­cially from the out posts like the Po­lice post in Walu Bay con­cern­ing a lot of traf­fick­ing of drugs where outer island ves­sels have been used,” Sergeant Donu said.

“Most of the cul­ti­va­tion is done out of the ur­ban ar­eas. The il­le­gal drug mar­kets are in the ur­ban ar­eas so most of the cul­ti­va­tion is done out­side of city ar­eas and some of the routes they use for traf­fick­ing to trans­port their il­licit commodities is by us­ing ves­sels, some­times through air­ports from over­seas but within they usu­ally only use fi­bre­glass boats to carry out these il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.”

It was also re­vealed that on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions per­pe­tra­tors have man­aged to es­cape Po­lice be­cause their out­board en­gines had more horse­power com­pared to the boat en­gines used by Po­lice in the is­lands.

“The Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to help us curb these il­licit trans­ac­tions by giv­ing us ve­hi­cles and also fa­cil­i­tat­ing out­board boats.

“We have fi­bre­glass boats in Po­lice posts in the outer is­lands but there are no so­phis­ti­cated boats so that these tar­gets can be reached as drug com­mu­ni­ties and farms are out there in the outer is­lands,” he said.

“So far this year there might be more than 20 cases of these drug per­pe­tra­tors. They use these kinds of ports as a source of route and it is eas­ier for them to trans­port their il­le­gal goods.”

The Drugs Unit plans to con­duct meet­ings with Po­lice posts lo­cated at ports and also with boat op­er­a­tors to ini­ti­ate strate­gies to counter the trans­porta­tion of drugs with the use of ves­sels.

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