31 Mar 2004

Fiji to tackle drug smugglers with new law

5:29 am on 31 March 2004

More details have been revealed of the Fiji government's proposed new legislation against the import and export illicit drugs.

Radio station, Legend, says the new laws are designed to deal with drug smugglers' ever more sophisticated ways of trying to evade law enforcement agencies.

Under the proposed legislation, police and customs officers an get a court order to carry out an internal bodily examination of suspects believed to be carrying ingested drugs.

The order may be given orally over the telephone and the suspect can be detained for up to ten days.

A doctor has to carry out the examination, and if necessary, reasonable force may be used.

The Customs Department will also be empowered to pursue ships into international waters if they fail to stop upon request for a search.