The recent number of alleged drug finds at our borders is a sign of continuous vigilance by authorities.
Chief Operations Officer (COO) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rusiate Tudravu says continuous efforts are being made by authorities in the battle against drugs in the country.
The latest finding of a confiscated kava shipment being re-exported back to a local kava dealer based in Suva allegedly containing illicit at the Nadi International Airport is an example of how authorities are committed to keeping our communities free of drugs.
As investigations continue into the latest finds at the Nadi International Airport members of the public are reminded that they could face hefty penalties if they are found to be involved in such illegal activities.
“The law is clear and there’s no two ways around it and if people think they can get off lightly then they should seriously think again”.
Under the Illicit Drugs Control Act 2004, Section 4 (1) Any person who without lawful authority imports or exports an illicit drug commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for life or both.
ACP Tudravu says all aspects from the importation, manufacturing, cultivation, transportation, dealings, and even to the act of conspiracy or having knowledge to commit an offence against the Act are covered in the legislation.
“This is one of the many reasons as to why we continue to issue advisories not to get involved in this illegal activity because even if you have conspired with another to commit offences under the Act you could find yourself facing a fine of up to $500,000 or an imprisonment term of 14 years”.
“Another very important piece of information that people should be aware of is these penalties could apply to you if you are found handling illicit drugs from even the smallest amount such as 0.5grams to over a kilogram, either way you could face up to life imprisonment or a fine of $1,000,000”.
On the same note he stresses the need for members of the community to work with authorities in the fight against drugs as the impacts on society can be very harmful.
“Drugs are a social scourge and once it infiltrates society there are many devastating impacts not only on the current but unfortunately the future generation of Fiji”.
“We are once again pleading with members of the community to work with authorities and provide information that could help us in our fight”.