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Yaqona thefts increase

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, January 27, 2018

FARMERS continue to suffer from the scourge of yaqona thieves who have begun stealing plants as young as eight months old.

Yaqona farmers on Taveuni and Buca Bay in Cakaudrove told Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his talanoa sessions this week that the problem was uncontrollable.

Speaking in Taveuni on Wednesday night, Marilyn Salesh told Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that thieves stole green plants.

Ms Salesh said cases were reported to police, but thieves were becoming bolder.

"Something needs to be done because farmers like us are beginning to think twice about planting yaqona, we are fed up," she said.

In Tukavesi, Mr Bainimarama heard that yaqona plants as young as eight months old were stolen.

Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho said officers could not be in yaqona farms daily, adding that people needed to come forward with information.

He said there was a taskforce working on cases.

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