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August 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Thirty Fijian law enforcement officers working in immigration, customs, and airport security are undergoing a two-week training course on drug interdiction and advanced information technology skills.

Provided by the U.S. Government, three agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are in Nadi to conduct the first week of training on drug interdiction for officers from Fiji Customs, Immigration and Border Police.  

The US embassy in a statement said the program aims to provide law enforcement and security personnel with knowledge of specialized techniques to help identify airline passengers who may be smuggling drugs or engaging in other elicit activities.

It said the United States will continue to seek opportunities to enhance law enforcement cooperation in Fiji, and hopes to implement more collaborative programmes in the future.

The second week of programming will help to strengthen the officers’ IT skills

The DEA Agents were extremely pleased with the collaboration of the local officers.

George Woessner, a Senior DEA Special Agent said the officers were professional, enthusiastic and dedicated in utilizing the interdiction techniques.  

He said the trainers unanimously agreed that the Fijians were among the best that have ever participated in this type of training where they are to be commended for their exceptional performance.

The program is one in a series of successful U.S.-Fiji law enforcement engagements including a U.S.-funded training program held at the Regional Police Academy in Suva earlier this year on advanced interviewing and interrogation techniques conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The US funded program began on July 30 and will conclude today.

By Ropate Valemei

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