Visiting yachts create fear in Lau after drug find

Mata ni Talai (iTaukei Affairs Board appointee) from the Lau Provincial Council, Nafitalai Cakacaka. Picture: SUPPLIED

THERE is fear that various yachts might enter the Lau waters where illicit drug trade may occur.

This was highlighted by the Mata ni Talai (iTaukei Affairs Board appointee) from the Lau Provincial Council, Nafitalai Cakacaka recently.

This was after 30 cocaine bars estimated to have a street value of $F31 million were found on an island in the Lau group earlier this month.

Though he was not aware of the issue, Mr Cakacaka said a similar incident happened about 10 years ago.

“I recalled when it happened in the past there was a total ban of yachts coming into the waters and we fear that that might happen again because some of our islands are actually earning a lot of income from these yachts. We need to be aware and we need to take precautions and inform our people from the islands to educate them on what needs to be done,” Mr Cakacaka said.

He said with the yachts coming into the islands, there was a need to promote the tourism sector, but now there is fear to do that.

“We want to promote the tourism sector in terms of the yachts coming into the islands but there are risks involved and we need to be aware and work with the authorities to ensure that we are protecting ourselves from being exposed in this kind of environment,” he said.

He added a move was made by the Lau Provincial Council to establish an entry point on Vanuabalavu.

“As we improve on these things and such things happen, it might cause a lot of problems with our efforts to do that so that is the thing that will affect us in the future,” he added.

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