A new Postmedia investigation in Fiji has found Canadian drug cartels at the top of the transnational meth smuggling chain.
The Director of the Fiji Police Narcotics Bureau, Superintendent Seru Neiko told Vancover Sun that they are unable to police Fiji’s borders, especially maritime border, as the drug consignments are dropped off at sea and then picked up and transported further to another destination.
Superintendent Neiko added that the authorities are seeing a rise in drugs coming up from Canada to Fiji.
In fact, Fijian authorities were so concerned about these illegal shipments from British Columbia that they contacted Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) representative in Canberra, Australia. This prompted a delegation to visit last summer that included Mounties and Canada Border Services agents.
Earlier this month, Fiji Police found a record three tonnes of meth hidden in 797 plastic containers inside a house under construction for years in Namaka.
This shipment was likely destined for Australia.
The Fijian authorities believe that some meth is being “stacked” in Fiji — unloaded in containers to be transported at a later date.
In addition to Canada, drugs are also illegally shipped from the United States and Southeast Asia to Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.
The crime fighting efforts of the AFP in 2023 has led to the seizure of tonnes of illegal drugs as part of efforts to combat serious organised crime activity in Australia.
In June 2023, a joint AFP, ABF, VicPol, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs Service investigation resulted in five men being charged with the alleged attempted importation of 2,900 litres of liquid meth. Canadian authorities also allegedly seized a total of 6,125 litres of liquid meth.
In July 2023, 174kg of ketamine with an estimated wholesale value of $6.9 million, was seized in Victoria in what was Australia’s largest seizure of the drug.
AFP Detective Superintendent Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Anthony Hall said in a statement that the AFP was aware of criminal syndicates evolving their methodology in attempt to bring harmful illicit substances into Australia and concealing ketamine within liquid concrete was no exception.
Superintendent Neiko adds that locals dealers are selling small packets of meth and other types of drugs that is devastating Fiji.
Last year, during his tour of the Western Division, Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka urged community leaders to come together and combat the rising cases of illicit drug trade that have plagued the region.
Dr Shailendra Bahadur Singh, Associate Professor and Head of Journalism at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva told The Australia Today that tmes have changed rapidly and Fiji is struggling to cope.
“When we were younger in the 70s-80s Fiji prided itself on not having a hard drugs problem. The worst we feared was marijuana, which seems rather quaint compared to what we are faced with nowadays, and the sheer scale of it.”
Dr Singh adds:
“I’m not aware of any research or stats about usage, but the feedback from the grapevine, especially taxi drivers, who cart users and dealers around, and other anecdotal evidence, suggest that we could be facing an epidemic. The question is whether enough is being done. For instance, baseline research to get at least some measure of how widespread usage is, among which age groups, etc., to base responses on.”
In 2023, Drug-Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu has revealed that during a survey conducted in 2019, at least 1 out of 3 Fijian children on the streets were drug peddlers.
Fiji Village News has also highlighted how young teens have been seen injecting meth, sex workers and homeless youth share dirty needles, and some taxi and bus drivers are using the dangerous drug to work for days without sleeping.
The Drug Free World Fiji founder is also urging Fijian parents and guardians to educate their children on the effects of using drugs and also create a platform at home where their children can come to them for anything.
Support Our Journalism
Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.
Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.