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Foreign Students Targets for Local Drug Dealers: Qiliho

Foreign Students Targets for Local Drug Dealers: Qiliho
Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho
October 27
12:32 2017

Local drug dealers have begun targeting foreign students with intentions to maximise profits by trading in foreign currency, says Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho.

In the last year, Police have thoroughly investigated the local marijuana trade, unearthing what Brigadier-General Qiliho called “a complex and well-organised network” appealing to a wealthy customer base.

“We know they are targeting foreign students and well-off people because they (the dealers) know they have the money,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

However, having spread across urban centres in the country, controlling the drug trade has proven to be a challenge for the Police force.

“We have to continue to hit marijuana because it is tied to other criminal activities,” he said.

“People will go and snatch a handbag or a phone to sell and fund their drug habits. We raid farms; we confiscate drugs from users and pushers every day.

“In terms of marijuana, it is all over the place.

“It is not confined to the drug triangles that we used to talk about in the Navosa area, in Tukavesi, Vanua Levu or on Kadavu. We have drugs now growing in pot plants and in backyards everywhere.”

He said they had also identified high-end night clubs with dealer agents inside approaching customers to sell the drugs.

“I’ve been approached outside some of the clubs in town (Suva city) but only for marijuana,” said a foreign student, who asked for his identity to be kept anonymous.

“I wasn’t really nervous because it regularly happens in the west (where I am from). Once I declined they just moved on to the next person.

“They’re probably approaching foreign students because they know they’re gullible and most are here on holiday to have a good time. They’re probably also aware we have money to spend.”

Just as recently as two years ago, Police found marijuana plants in a raid they conducted on a Tamavua farm a few hundred metres off the main road, Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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