New naval ship to help Fiji combat transnational crime

March 7, 2020 4:01 pm

[Photo Credit: Fijian Government]

The Fijian Navy will be able to further strengthen its border monitoring of transnational crime with the addition of a new vessel to its fleet.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of the RFNS Savenaca in Western Australia, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the boat will help in the fight against the international criminal networks in the Pacific.

“Most of the narcotics passing through our waters are bound for lucrative markets Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and other hubs in Australia and New Zealand but the inevitable spillover makes this an issue far larger than anyone market or nation”.

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Bainimarama says the onus is on all Pacific Island countries to band together to keep criminals and hard drugs out of our waters.

The new #Fijian guardian-class patrol boat, RFNS Savenaca is expected to assist the Fiji Navy with fighting against international criminal networks hitting the Pacific hard, particularly drug trade.“It’s on all of us to band together to keep these criminals out of our waters and keep hard drugs out of our people’s hands – particularly young people. With the RFNS Savenca in the ranks of our fleet, our capacity to combat drug smugglers will be further bolstered for the benefit of our people and our society at large,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.(Video credited to Austal)#TeamFiji #FijiNews #Fiji #FijianGovernment #Vuvale

Posted by Fijian Government on Friday, March 6, 2020

He says the new vessel will also be used in the fight against other illegal activities.

“The crew of this vessel, alongside the Fijian Navy Fleet, will combat illegal fishing, dumping, and human trafficking as well. None of these are Fijian threats alone. In fact, the one thing criminal operators, massive piles of trash, and swimming schools of tuna all have in common is a disregard for national oceanic boundaries”.

Meanwhile, this also further enhances the Fiji-Vuvale Partnership.

The RFNS Savenaca is the sixth out of 19 patrol boats built by Austal in Australia with room for 23 crew and a 3,000 nautical range.