With the Pacific region being vulnerable to the smuggling of drugs and other illicit substances, Fiji’s Minister for Defense Inia Seruiratu says the war on drugs is not easy.
Seruiratu says it is not only happening in the Pacific region but around the world as well and it is continuing to be a huge crisis.
From 2017 to date, Fiji alone has recorded 6282 cases of illicit drugs of which 302 involved methamphetamine, 22 on cocaine, and the rest were all marijuana cases.
Speaking in Parliament this week, Seruiratu says there are some cases of locally produced methamphetamine and the influx of these cases was due to its lucrative price.
“Of course, there are some cases but the majority are from offshore and I’m told by the police that the price is very lucrative and it’s about a million dollars per kilogram now but we have instances where the ingredients were sourced locally and that’s why we are trying to finalize the Illicit drugs act and we have instances where there’s a top floor night club and an underground floor where they are doing the cooking”.
He says we need to work together with the relevant agencies and Police to stop people from using or pedaling illicit drugs.
“We have slowly formed a Narcotics Bureau and there is 84 personnel in the team and that speaks volume of the team but it is insufficient for now we are slowly moving towards an independent team and probably in the next few years we can emulate the Singapore model”.
Seruiratu is confident that with the cooperation of various Police organizations in the region, they can continue to monitor our boundaries and ensure that smugglers will not take advantage of our vast the Pacific Ocean.