Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says hard‑core synthetic drugs have no place in Fiji, they damage communities, they ruin lives, and they can result in devastating spill‑over effects of violence.
Bainimarama has also said good on you, to the students of Marist Brother High School who have taken a pledge to say no to drugs.
Bainimarama says curbing the abuse of hard drugs in Fijian society starts with personal responsibility.
He says by saying "NO" to drugs like methamphetamine and ecstasy the students are setting a positive example for young people everywhere to follow.
Bainimarama says the government shares this commitment, and they are seriously stepping up the campaign to get drugs off the streets and put drug traffickers behind bars.
The Prime Minister says in the last National Budget, they allocated $800,000 to fund a stronger effort to combat drug trafficking, with dedicated staff in the Fiji Police Force tasked with finding and rooting out networks of hard and synthetic drug dealers and suppliers. He says these officers will work closely with their counterparts in Australia and New Zealand.
Bainimarama says drugs in Fiji are often smuggled in via boat from overseas. He says they have also allocated $720,000 towards the purchase of four new intercept boats for the police to strengthen law enforcement's presence in Fijian waters.
The Fiji Navy will also be providing the Police with additional personnel and vessels to assist with maritime surveillance, with a $1.1 million allocation set aside to fund personnel costs aboard two new vessels, the RFNS Volasiga and the RFNS Savenaca.
Bainimarama has made a call to encourage more young people to make this same pledge, say "NO" to drugs and build a healthier and safer Fiji.