The Fiji Times: Drug bust a chilling wake-up call for Fiji

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Fiji drug haul 15 Jan 2024
"This is not just a matter for the police to deal with. It’s a fight we all must participate in. It is for our future!" Image: The Fiji Times

EDITORIAL: By Fred Wesley, editor-in-chief of The Fiji Times

The revelation that police have carried out what is believed to be one of Fiji’s biggest drug busts after a surprise raid in Nadi at the weekend is a wake-up call for us all.

Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew yesterday confirmed the raid and that substantial amounts of white drugs were seized.

The tip off, he said, came from Nausori, subsequently allowing officers to conduct a raid at a warehouse in the West. It is arguably one of the biggest haul in Fiji. As investigations continue, one thing is certain.

The Fiji Times
THE FIJI TIMES

This is a national issue, and it is big. It’s a chilling wake-up call, exposing something we have been seeing glimpses of over the years. It is difficult to shrug aside the fact that the drug trade is a major challenge for us as a nation.

We have been talking about the consequences, which are far reaching, and threatening the very fabric of life as we know it.

Addiction is a major challenge we face as well and given the fact that we do not have well equipped rehabilitation centres, we are staring at a blankwall, and that places us in a rather frightening situation.

The impact of drug addiction on the family structure, on society and our country are not good at all.

The minds of tourists
The last thing we want is for our country to lose its shine on the minds of tourists because of a drug challenge. We look up to the powers that be to put in place measures that will assist in the fight against drugs, and addiction.

That is why we have been pushing for rehabilitation centres and for people to be trained to work in these facilities. In saying that, we are encouraged by this latest revelation.

There is a glimmer of hope when such events happen because they take a swipe at the illicit trade. While it is a testament to the efforts and the vigilance of the police, we are still reminded about the fact that we have a problem!

In this instance, awareness is key. Educational campaigns targeted at youth, families, and communities must dispel the myths and expose the brutal reality of drugs.

We also need to be talking, and assisting Fijians make informed choices.

We need those rehabilitation centres set up urgently, and equipped by trained professional staff.

Then there are the social challenges that range from poverty, and unemployment to consider.

This is not just a matter for the police to deal with. It’s a fight we all must participate in. It is for our future!

This editorial was published in The Fiji Times today under the title of “Drug challenge”.

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