Fiji’s drug problem an issue for DPP

June 25, 2022 6:45 am

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution is currently trying to look at ways of combating Fiji’s drug problem.

Prosecutors are currently meeting in Sigatoka for their annual conference with the theme of “Attacking the Drug Problem by Removing the Profit”.

High Court Judge Justice Deepthi Amaratunga says imprisonment of drug dealers is not adequate adding that the removal of wealth is an effective deterrent to crime prevention.

Article continues after advertisement

Prominent Defense Counsel Devanesh Sharma says current legislations under the Crimes Act of 2009 is effective against the growing number of individuals who prosper through criminal business engagements.

“You have the most powerful tool at your disposal to cause a real deterrent to people who are engaging in this type of criminal activities and who are profitably benefitting from criminal activities. First of all you’ve got your restraining orders, pecuniary penalty orders, you’ve also got the non-conviction based orders.”

Sharma says prosecution needs to improve on its investigation approach, as there are many instances when unnecessary questions have been asked during initial investigations.

The two-day conference resumed after two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Investigations from the border patrol taskforce discovered Fiji is not only a transit point for drug trafficking in the Pacific region but is also a market for this dangerous and illegal trade product.