Drug concern

THE drug world has been glamourised to some extent by Hollywood.

The glitter, glamour supposedly associated with it, and the tough images portrayed by the stars in hit films are, however, far from the truth about its many woes.

The very real world of narcotics is filled with danger and ruthlessness. There is money to be made though. Millions in fact.

It actually makes this a lucrative trade.

Therein sits the urgent need to ensure we are doing all we can to avoid turning our country into a drug haven.

The police and all those involved in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people should be acknowledged.

As countries tighten up their border security controls, it is the norm now to hear messages beamed out to travellers at major airports around the world, warning people not to accept packages from others.

Over the years, Fiji has been tagged a potential transit point for smugglers with an eye focused on Australia and New Zealand.

In 2013 tablets of cocaine washed up on beaches in Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, French Polynesia and Marshall Islands. It offered a disturbing scenario that consolidated the notion that our region was the new gateway for drug dealers and smugglers.

The fact that we are scattered around the vast Pacific Ocean does, to some extent, make us vulnerable.

The work of the officers in charge of keeping our country safe from such activities is not easy.

The trade has actually made some people very rich, and changed the lives of thousands of others, both negatively and positively.

The challenge then is on the men and women of our police force and associated arms to be vigilant and disciplined enough to fight this.

The revelation then last week that a Fijian and an Australian were in police custody after they were found in possession of 50kilograms of cocaine valued at $15million is cause for concern.

Police chief of investigations and intelligence ACP Henry Brown said the seizure was made on Monday last week in Saweni, Lautoka through a joint collaboration between the Fiji Police Force, Australian Federal Police and Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority. It came in the wake of “weeks of extensive intelligence gathering”.

He said investigations also resulted in the discovery of large amounts of Fijian and Australian currency from one of the suspects’ hotel room.

And if that wasn’t enough, a 35-year-old man from Nadi is the second suspect to be charged with one count of unlawful transfer and supply of illicit drugs in relation to the discovery of $6.5m worth of methamphetamine last week.

As citizens of this beautiful country, let us support the effort to fight the drug problem.

The police and other law enforcement arms need the support and encouragement of members of the public.