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No arrests yet over yaqona theft

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

POLICE are yet to make any arrest on the series of yaqona thefts on farms in the Wainunu district in Bua.

To assist them with investigations, police are appealing to members of the public to come forward with information that may be of assistance.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said police had visited the area on two different occasions to carry out investigations.

"Suspects have been brought in and interviewed during the last trip, but no arrests have been made so far," Ms Naisoro said.

"We can confirm at this point that investigation into the cases reported to us is continuing.

"Our police personnel working on these yaqona theft cases in Wainunu were given reports collated by the advisory councillor in the area.

"Police is partnering with them to successfully arrest the culprits."

Police have reminded members of the public that the theft of yaqona plants, especially green plants was illegal.

Earlier, Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea had cautioned those who continued to buy or sell green yaqona to refrain and abide by the ban recently introduced by Government.

The ban prohibits the sale of green yaqona from the three provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata.

He had said that despite the ban, people continued to trade green yaqona.

He added that police could not control the theft and sale of green yaqona and pleaded with members of the communities to also contact the nearest police station if they encountered it.

Two weeks ago, this newspaper also accompanied police to Batinivuruwai in Wainunu speaking to farmers who claimed they had collectively lost over $1million worth of yaqona to thieves.

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