Volatabu draws link between drugs and weapons

May 20, 2024 1:00 pm

[File Photo]

Drug-Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu stresses the link between the importation of illicit drugs and weapons.

Volatabu highlighted this when asked about her thoughts on the proposal by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces for the use of firearms to tackle drugs.

The founder of Drugs Free World Fiji says the atmosphere changed when RFMF Director Legal Colonel Kitione Tuinaosara brought up the proposal at the National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium.

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She agrees that it is too early, however, says that Tuinaosara was talking in respect to an incident that happened in Namosi some years back where firearms were involved.

She adds that drug traffickers do not fight fairly, and what needs to be considered is the safety of police officers.

“When these guys bring in the loads and loads of drugs, there’s weapons involved in this as well, so it’s how we do best protect our officers because the police officers are our front liners. In Fiji they do not carry weapons, the only institution that carries weapons, the only institution that carries weapon is the military. How do we equip our police officers, how do we gear them up so that they are ready when they walk into a meth lab or into an area to do a seizure those people are ready they have guns and they are ready, they have weapons to protect them, what weapons or protections do our officers have, they do not have any.”

Volatabu says Fiji’s drug issue is not something new.

She says it started decades ago when alcohol was traded for land and marijuana was used by farmers, and the issue has become bigger over the years with new drugs entering the market.