The Fiji Police Force has stepped up its campaign on ridding the illicit local drug trade ahead of the festive season, recording a mounting number of arrests, so far.
Assistant Commissioner of Police – Operations ACP Livai Driu said over the last two weeks, a number of raids and intercepts were made, resulting in farm raids and seizures of green and white drugs.
ACP Driu said in the Northern Division, more than 300 plants were uprooted by a joint task force consisting of officers from the Narcotics Bureau, Crime Intelligence Unit and Savusavu Police.
He said in Savusavu, dried leaves believed to be marijuana were seized from suspects at the Savusavu Market, resulting in the arrest of two farmers.
In Taveuni, more than 50 plants were found on a farm allegedly belonging to a 31-year-old farmer, as well as dried leaves and seedlings.
In the Central Division, a 29-year-old farmer from Kadavu was arrested at the Suva carrier stand after he was allegedly found with more than 100 sachets of dried leaves and a bag containing branches of dried leaves, all believed to be marijuana.
Also in Kadavu, a 46-year-old woman was arrested at the Vunisea Jetty, after she was allegedly found with a bag containing bundles of dried leaves believed to be marijuana.
Arrests were also made in the Eastern Division where Levuka Police arrested a 54-year-old man following the discovery of dried leaves in small clear plastics all packed in a shopping bag as well as branches believed to be marijuana.
Korovou Police raided a farm where more than 100 green plants and loose branches believed to be marijuana were seized in the Wainibuka area.
In the Western Division, two men were arrested in separate raids in Nadi where white crystals believed to be methamphetamine were discovered.
Rakiraki Police uprooted close to 50 plants believed to be marijuana from a farm belonging to a man in his 20s, and in another raid, several plants allegedly belonging to a 40-year-old farmer were seized.
In Sigatoka, a man and woman were arrested after they were allegedly found with several sachets of dried leaves believed to be marijuana and more than $12,000 cash believed to be from proceeds of crime.
In Vunato, Lautoka, a raid conducted resulted in the seizure of several plastics containing dried leaves believed to be marijuana. A woman and two men were arrested and taken into custody as a result of the successful raid.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police – Operations said the illicit drug trade is linked to other crimes, so if they can nip one in the bud, they can curb the rise in other crimes.
ACP Driu said the reality is that while some benefit, others will suffer the long-term consequences of drug use.
He added that the Fiji Police will not allow this to happen, and they will direct all necessary efforts towards tackling the drug trade.
The Police have acknowledged the support of the public with the sharing of information and says community support is critical to the success of all policing efforts and every piece of information shared is appreciated as it contributes to the overall efforts of keeping our communities safe.