Asset confiscation to fight drug traffickers

June 26, 2022 12:54 pm

[Photo Supplied]

Drug peddlers have been forewarned that the risk of imprisonment after conviction for a drug related crime could possibly lead to their property and wealth being in jeopardy, even if its in the hands of their relatives.

Director of Public Prosecution Christopher Pryde made the comment during the ODPP Conference, which concluded in Sigatoka yesterday.

Pryde says there has been an increase in drug-related offences not just from home-grown cannabis farmers but from more sophisticated overseas criminal organizations.

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He says Fiji is being used as a transit point for the transhipment of hard drugs to other countries in the Pacific, which has begun to spill over into the local population.

Pryde says they are also seeing an increase in hard drugs used and sold locally, and they are now fighting the drug problem through the confiscation of assets.

Pryde says Fiji is one of the few countries in the Pacific that has the ability through its Proceeds of Crime Act to apply to the courts for unexplained wealth declarations.

He says unexplained wealth declarations are a powerful and legitimate tool in assisting the State to remove profit from illegal drug activity and that if used judiciously and with care, will, in time, increase the effectiveness of enforcement agencies in Fiji in combating crime, particularly financial crime.