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Yaqona theft

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, February 09, 2018

YAQONA farmers in Bua applauded police for their commitment in investigating alleged crop theft that has caused an estimated $1 million loss for victims over the past year.

Wainunu advisory councillor William Brown said the continuous visit by investigating officers built the confidence of the community in the police.

"We are so happy that police has continuously visited us after we reported cases of yaqona theft in our farms and their daily visit has made us believe in them," he said.

"We know they will do their best to get the culprits out of their hidden places because we want to know who is stealing our yaqona.

"Eight farmers, in one week, lost about $170,000 when thieves stole more than 200 yaqona plants from their farms."

Mr Brown said the situation was heartbreaking for many hardworking farmers.

"You put in so much effort and look forward to harvesting the yaqona and earn a good amount of money for the families, but later find out that it has been stolen," he said.

"We are working with police to fight this crime happening around Vanua Levu, especially when the price of yaqona is high.

"We won't give up this fight and we will support police to find the culprits who are behind this."

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said investigations into these alleged theft cases were continuing.

Last week Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea confirmed that Government had banned the sale of green yaqona from all farms on Vanua Levu.

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