The Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence Hon. Mr Timoci Natuva continued his official tour of the Fiji Police Force Departments and Units in the Western Division today.
This morning the Hon. Minister was briefed at the Border Control Unit by Commanding Officer Superintendent of Police (SP) Jope Ralulu on the work carried out in their area of operations namely the Nadi International Airport as well as the port of entries at the Denarau and Vuda Mariners.
The unit was established in 2009 and has since been working with other stakeholders in keeping our borders safe from criminal elements.
The Hon. Minister was informed that in the last two years the Unit has managed to reduce the number of reported cases at the Nadi International Airport. Seventy cases were reported in 2013 and this year the number was more than halved with only 30 cases reported to date.
SP Ralulu said the drop was mainly due to the integrated approach adopted by stakeholders who are intent on keeping our borders safe.
“Crimes such as pilferage, unruly behavior, fraud and drugs have been reported at the Nadi Airport and we have managed to reduce the number of reports by working closely with all stakeholders such as Fiji Revenue and Customs, Airports Fiji Limited, Air Terminal Services, Biosecurity of Fiji and Post Fiji to name a few”.
He also said that since the inception of the Border Unit, 2014 has been a year of success in as far as the early detection of drugs at the airport.
“This year we have intercepted and detected 7 cases of drugs and illicit substances at the Airport with the assistance of FRCA and Biosecurity of Fiji”.
The Hon. Minister was impressed with the approach taken by the Border Control Unit in keeping our port of entries safe and the initiative of working together with other stakeholders to have a more watchful eye over our borders.
He also stressed the need to look into upskilling officers based at the unit through local and overseas training opportunities. The K-9 capabilities were also an issue discussed considering their vital role in the detection of cases. Hon. Natuva also emphasized the importance of equipping the unit with the relevant resources.
The Border Control unit is manned by 78 officers who look after the Nadi International Airport as well as the port of entries at the Denarau and Vuda Mariners.
The Hon. Minister continues his tour of the Western Division today and is accompanied by Chief Operations Officer Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu.