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Call for people to lodge complaints

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

DIVISIONAL Police Commander North Senior Superintendent Naulumatua Lutunacaucau has called on members of the community in the North not to fear lodging complaints against his men.

His comment follows concerns raised by a villager in Saqani that his sea catch was confiscated by police despite the approval of the chief in Naboutini Village and the fishing license he had.

SSP Lutunacaucau said the force's Disciplinary Ethics Department would investigate the concerns raised.

He said the department was in charge of investigations into complaints against policemen.

Saqani villager Apenisa Tuimoala claimed two policemen from the Saqani Post took his catch and instead of handing it over to the Department of Fisheries, they allegedly shared it to friends.

Mr Tuimoala said he had been approached by the clan leader at Naboutini Village, who was also his uncle, to collect fish and beche-de-mer at their fishing ground, to be sold for a family engagement in Suva next month.

"While returning from the sea, I was approached by a policeman who seized all my fishing equipment, including the fish and beche-de-mers and he told me I was fishing illegally," he said.

"The policeman then shared all my fish and beche-de-mer with some men from the Saqani government station as I stood there at the seashore.

"It even went to the point where the policeman asked me whether the fish I caught was poisonous and inedible."

Mr Tuimoala said he was worried about the policeman's actions because the equipment and seafood seized should have been kept for investigation claiming it was a corrupt conduct on the part of the policeman.

"Furthermore, I had obtained the permission from the clan leader at Naboutini and the policeman was just acting on the advice of the village headman who had personal grudges against our family."

When contacted for a comment yesterday, Naboutini clan leader Paula Nagese said he had reconciled with the villagers and the issue had been resolved.

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