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7 years for drug farmers

Avinesh Gopal
Thursday, February 21, 2013

TWO men have been jailed for seven years each for cultivating marijuana.

Saimoni Mata, 30, and Tomasi Koroituku, 19, were arrested by police in Nausori last Saturday.

A team of police officers raided their farm in Waibau on Saturday morning and uprooted 35 marijuana plants ranging from 1.7 metres to 2.5 metres in height.

They were kept in custody at the Nausori Police Station at the weekend and an analysis at the Koronivia Research Station confirmed the plants as marijuana.

On Tuesday, Mata and Koroituku appeared before magistrate Charles Ratakele in the Nausori Magistrate's Court.

They pleaded guilty to a charge each of cultivating illicit drugs, in this case Indian hemp or marijuana.

Mr Ratakele jailed the men for seven years each and ordered that they be eligible for parole after serving five years of their sentence.

Fiji Police Force spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the sentence should be a warning to other such would-be offenders.

Insp Sokomuri said the police force would come down hard on marijuana cultivators and dealers in the country.





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