Editorial comment – Illicit drug trade

A police officer holds up a plant believed to be marijuana which was uprooted from a farm in Cakaudrove. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE revelation that three men are in police custody over their alleged involvement in the illicit drug trade is a concern.

It may not move some people.

However, it is when you consider what people believe these men were allegedly involved in, that it should inch out major concern.

It is shocking that people are being arrested for their alleged link to hard drugs.

The Fiji Police Force confirmed the three men were arrested following separate raids at Narere, Nakasi and Nadi.

The raids were part of Operation Cavuraka IV.

A raid at Hanford Place in Narere, police stated, at the home of a man in his 50s came up with clear plastic bags containing white crystal powder believed to be methamphetamine.

In the second raid, a house belonging to a man in his 30s at Vishnu Deo Rd in Nakasi was searched and a small plastic containing white crystals believed to be methamphetamine and cash were discovered.

In the third raid, a man in his 30s was arrested after a clear plastic containing white powder believed to be cocaine as well as other apparatus were found in his car which was parked at Votualevu in Nadi.

The news comes in the wake of the discovery of 14 brown parcels believed to contain cocaine were discovered in the Yasawa Group last week.

The discovery was made in a village in the Naviti district between September 9 and September 10.

According to police, the first 10 parcels were found by three people who were collecting seaweed.

The second discovery was made by a farmer who was returning from his farm, while the third find was made by a man who also found two parcels washed ashore.

All 14 packages had a similar branding of a water buffalo on each parcel. Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho confirmed investigations were in progress with the Fiji Navy and Australian authorities.

On Sunday, there was a report in the Telegraph newspaper about how a New South Wales town pushed back the flow of ice by dobbing in dealers.

Police in the NSW town of Wellington reported that children as young as 10 had been experimenting with the drug.

Residents eventually realised that whenever a burst of firecrackers went off late at night, it delivered a message that a local drug dealer had taken delivery of a fresh supply of crystal methamphetamine.

The little town had reached a stage where ice had taken such a hold on it that it became known as “Little Antarctica”.

It seems we have a major problem on our hands that we cannot slip under the carpet. This is serious business that must be met with appropriate action.

We can only wonder about how big the issue is, and how bad the trade in ice is.

We must not shrug aside the fact that there are issues that must be appropriately dealt with by the powers that be.

There are many questions that will no doubt be raised about why people are turning to ice in the first place.

But we cannot escape the fact that the negative impact is massive in countries such as Australia.

Our police and border security agencies need our support to fight people who dare to drag us into such a cycle.

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