Police target drug exchange at sea
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.