NATION

Police, Customs Trained To Dismantle Drug Labs

The Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service officers now have the expertise to dismantle clan­destine illicit drug labs. This is after the completion of two weeks
23 Sep 2018 12:24
Police, Customs Trained To Dismantle Drug Labs
Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service officers receive their certificates after undergoing the two-week training conducted by United States Drug Enforcement Agency (USDEA) on September 21, 2018. Photo: Police Media Cell

The Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service officers now have the expertise to dismantle clan­destine illicit drug labs.

This is after the completion of two weeks training conducted by the United States Drug Enforce­ment Agency (USDEA) on Friday.

Three Fiji Revenue and Customs Service officials and 34 Fiji Police officers took part in the training.

Closing the course, FRCS Manag­er Training Osea Dakai said it was the first time Fijians were taking part in such a course in Fiji.

“If we can just look back in 2004 (9/6/2004) when the biggest meth­amphetamine lab was dismantled at Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu,” he said.

“At the time we did not have this expertise to dismantle these kinds of labs.

“I remember correctly because I was part of the team that disman­tled the surveillance operations. I was the head of surveillance and at that time we did not have this ex­perience, but we are very grateful to the USDEA and the US govern­ment for giving us this opportunity.

“The rise in cases of methamphet­amine in Fiji is evident through the seizures by Police and Customs and proves the fact that there are syndicates operating in our midst.

“FRCS and Police are adamant that after this training we will not only focus on the product, but we will be able to identify the root, eliminate, disturb the syndicates and the root cause.”

Mr Dakai thanked the USDEA for giving its time and effort and send­ing its experts in this field.

“The 37 participants graduating today are qualified enough to carry out operations in disrupting clan­destine lab operations and carry­ing out successful investigations and, most importantly, convictions in this area,” he said.

“I have also learned from our par­ticipants here that they are able to identify chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit drugs.

“We have worked a little bit in this area in trying to identify the right chemicals that are coming into Fiji and the ones that they declare to us on the system that are coming.

“Most importantly they need to work closely with fellow Police par­ticipants in building up their cases in a collaborative approach.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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