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Impacts of hard drugs devastating says Fiji Police Commissioner
10:34 pm GMT+12, 08/07/2019, Fiji

Fiji's Commissioner of Police's intent on curbing the illicit drug trade has received another timely boost, as 15 officers depart Fiji tomorrow to attend a two-week training at the Yunnan Police College in the People's Republic of China.
The delegation will be led by the Officer in Charge of the Fiji Police Drugs Unit ASP Anare Masitabua and comprises officers from the Criminal Investigations Department, Crime Intel, Forensic and Prosecutions.
Addressing the delegation ahead of their departure, Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said it was important that officers utilise the valuable learning opportunity well.
“We need to continue our training in narcotics because we can't allow Fiji to fall to drugs and we are in a position to do something about it now; and while I fully understand that we won't be able to fully eradicate it, we can however manage it and it impacts on our society and going to Yunnan Province is part of the battle”.
“The impacts of drugs on a small country like ours will be devastating; productive people made unproductive, the strain on our health system and the strain on our economy will be huge and that's what I worry about”.
The Commissioner added the training was in line with the police-police cooperation not only with the People's Republic of China but augurs well with the ongoing work with neighbouring law enforcement agencies.
“Our counterparts from the Australian Federal Police have also attended training in Yunnan to help them fully understand the evolving nature of how criminals are trying to beat the system from moving the more solid form of the drugs in order to beat detection systems”.
“The Chinese authorities will be well abreast with these changing methods and that is why it is important for us to keep sending our officers with every opportunity we get”.
He added the demand for, and the over production of drugs in South America has led to the increase in the movement of drugs through the Pacific.
“Australia and New Zealand have tightened its battle on their home front, and so have we, and there is a likelihood that it will affect our neighbouring countries as these drugs are being pushed through our oceans and a few kilos will be dropped off as payment, and then sold into our society to feeds our users which is why we have to fight this together”.
“We are working together and have signed agreements to that effect to fight this common enemy that's affecting the world, and that is what we should tell ourselves all the time.”
The two opportunities for training with the Yunnan Police College resulted from a visit made by the Commissioner of Police to the Institute in May last year where discussions were held with the Yunnan Police Public Security.
The Yunnan Police Public Security Bureau is the leading province in China dealing with narcotics.
The Fiji Police Force has benefitted greatly since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2011 between the Fiji's Ministry of Defense and National Security and China's Ministry of Public Security.
Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fisi Nasario has become the first Fijian Police officer to complete studies at the People's Republic of China's leading anti-narcotics training institutions.
ASP Nasario has attained a Masters Degree in Policing majoring in Drugs from the Yunnan Police College.
The studying opportunity was facilitated by China's Ministry of Public Security and Fiji's Ministry of Defence and National Security as part of the ongoing policing cooperation between the two countries.
ASP Nasario said the illicit drug trade was evolving at a rapid pace and the course was a real eye opener on how Yunnan law enforcement was using technology to help combat the illicit drug trade.
As well as securing a Masters in Policing, ASP Nasario was also voted Best Student out of the more than 30 Chinese and International students who attended the two-year course.
In May last year the Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho had led a delegation to the College where they had an opportunity to visit the anti-narcotics training centre and discuss future cooperation to help in Fiji's war against the illicit drug trade.


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