Drug fight escalates following rising discoveries around Fiji

Drug fight escalates following rising discoveries around Fiji

By fijivillage
Monday 04/03/2024
Photo:Fiji Police Force

The fight against drugs has escalated following rising discovering discoveries around Fiji.

Spot checking students’ bags and drug tests should be explored – PM

Rabuka concerned about drug find in schools
By Alipate Narawa
Monday 04/03/2024
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka

It is a concern not only for schools, but also for the nation.

These are the words of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to the media regarding the two 17-year-old students allegedly found with cocaine and marijuana on the school premises last week in Lautoka and Nausori.

Rabuka says it is very sad that it has come up in the last few weeks but it was probably brewing under the surface.

The Prime Minister says it was probably not observed or deliberately not seen.

He says a few years ago in Parliament, the opposition raised a question on whether there should be a National Inquiry to combat drugs, which was not taken up by the government at the time.

The Prime Minister says they now have the opportunity to look at it again after discovering those big drug busts in the West.

Rabuka says the spot checks should be allowed at schools by checking students’ bags, and he also says we should look at drug tests as well.

Rabuka says if drug tests are not against any human rights, it will have to be dealt with along those lines.

He adds if health authorities think it can be implemented, then it must be done.

President says recent drug seizures require review of Illicit Drug Act

By Mosese Raqio
Monday 04/03/2024
President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

The recent seizure of approximately four tonnes of methamphetamine requires the review of the Illicit Drugs Control Act and related legislation.

This was highlighted by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere while officiating at the opening of the 2024 Parliament session today.

Ratu Wiliame says the National Defence Review is ongoing to address the changing security landscape.

He says the Fiji Police Force will collaborate with counterparts in source countries to curb the smuggling and trans-shipment of illicit drugs to and through Fiji.

He adds partnerships with religious bodies, community leaders, and other stakeholders are crucial in the fight against crime and drug trafficking.

Ratu Wiliame says the review of Defence, Immigration and National Security legislation will be given priority.

He further says that the government is working with our development partners in exploring options for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal the pain and scars left by the events of 1987, 2000 and 2006.

Ratu Wiliame says the Coalition Government is committed to protecting and preserving our traditions, cultures, and languages to promote social cohesion among our people.

He adds to accomplish this, the Ministry of Multi-Ethnic Affairs will launch a new policy framework that will enhance social cohesion among all ethnic communities through sound policies, consultations, and inclusiveness.

Ratu Wiliame also mentioned that education will continue to be a priority.

He says the implementation of the Education Summit outcomes outlined in the Denarau Declaration, will be pursued.

He adds this includes the review and modernization of the Education Act and relevant laws, policies and programs.

The President also highlighted that the government, is committed to implementing the National Action Plan for Women’s Economic Empowerment and that gender-responsive budgeting across all sectors will be implemented this year.

He says the Child Justice Bill and Childcare and Protection Bill to modernize and strengthen the legislative framework for children will be a priority as well this year.

Ratu Wiliame says the government will continue to enhance social protection programmes complemented with coverage for climate and disaster shocks through the adaptive social protection framework.

Meanwhile, Parliament has been adjourned to 9am next Monday, 11th of March 2024.

Urgent action needed as hard drug users inject, draw blood and share

This can further result in already rapidly rising cases of HIV/AIDS
By Vijay Narayan, Mikaele Liga
Monday 04/03/2024
Drug-Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu

Urgent action is needed as we are continuing to receive reports now on the concerning trend of the sharing of needles by hard drug users where people are injecting the drug, and then using the same syringe to draw out the blood of that person, and then putting it into another person’s body.

fijivillage News has been told that people on the streets were earlier given highly addictive drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine for free however they are now addicted and cannot afford the constant supply.

They have then started to draw out blood of those who have just taken the drug.

While speaking on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan, Drug-Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu says these things are happening at an elevated level, and it is very concerning as this will further result in the already rapidly rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Volatabu says children as young as 11 years old are sadly addicted to drugs like methamphetamine.

She says that after conducting a survey, they found an 11-year-old boy who is a needle user and his story is one of many others out there.

Volatabu says after talking to some youths in Nabua, she feels saddened to listen to the stories about the journey of these drug users.

She adds that without a doubt, there needs to be international responsibility with the diplomatic corp and multi-national agencies that are based in Fiji because they see what's happening in this country and they cannot turn a blind eye on Fiji.

Volatabu is asking what more can these international agencies do in terms of awareness and assistance, as some of these hard drugs were destined for countries like Australia, but unfortunately it has spread to the people here in Fiji.

24-year-old man charged with the unlawful possession of cocaine

By Mansi Chand
Monday 04/03/2024

A 24-year-old man will be produced in the Lautoka Magistrates Court today after he was charged with unlawful possession of illicit drugs namely, cocaine.

Assistant Commissioner of Police – Crime, ACP Mesake Waqa says an initial search conducted on the accused last week resulted in the discovery of white substances confirmed to be cocaine.

ACP Waqa says another search conducted at a boarding house where the accused was staying in Saweni, Lautoka, resulted in the seizure of a bar of cocaine.

He says the accused has been charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of Illicit Drugs.

Two 17-year-olds allegedly found with cocaine and marijuana in school

By Alipate Narawa
Sunday 03/03/2024
[Image: Fiji Police Force]

Two 17-year-old students have allegedly been found with cocaine and marijuana on school premises with one in Nausori and the other in Lautoka.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police – Operations, Livai Driu says in Lautoka, white substances believed to be cocaine were found on a school premises allegedly belonging to a 17-year-old student.

In another case, a 17-year-old student was found with dried leaves believed to be marijuana on school premises.

The matter is being investigated by Nausori Police.

He says the substances have been sent for analysis.

ACP Driu is urging parents and guardians to talk to their children about the consequences of drug use as well as other harmful substances.

He stresses the need for children to be constantly reminded of the implications drugs has on their health, education and future.

ACP Driu says while police and other stakeholders are doing their best to spread awareness on the harmful effects of drugs, parents and guardians must also reinforce a similar message at home.

He further says the Fiji Detector Dog Unit is currently in the Northern Division assisting with drug operations as drug related arrests and seizures continue to be made around the five policing divisions this past week.

ACP Driu says raids and snap traffic checks have been conducted with positive outcomes as a result of information sharing from members of the public.

ACP Driu said arrests and seizures recorded this past week have been made in Nabouwalu, Labasa, Taveuni, Seaqaqa and Savusavu for cases of unlawful cultivation and unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

The head of the Fiji Police operations says the other four divisions have also recorded seizures and arrests, again as a result of information sharing.

ACP Driu says that it is encouraging to see the change in mindsets, as more people are coming forward with information to assist law enforcement.

He is encouraging members of the public to call Crime Stoppers on 919 or their respective Divisional Police Commanders.

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