14 Jun 2004

Calls for tighter border controls in Fiji

11:58 am on 14 June 2004

There are calls in Fiji for stringent border controls after last week's drug bust resulted in the closure of the largest meth-amphetamine factory in the southern hemisphere.

The Fiji Times quotes the National Federation Party leader, Prem Singh, as saying that if nothing is done to improve border control, more serious illegal and criminal activities can be expected.

Mr Singh says last week's drug bust is only the tip of the iceberg and one should not forget the immigration scam of a few years ago.

Mr Singh says the "Look North" policy introduced by the Rabuka government should be immediately reviewed.

That policy was brought in after Australia and New Zealand put trade bans and sanctions on Fiji after the 1987 coups.

Rakuka government officials visited Asian countries and promoted Fiji as a haven for investors and trade.

Mr Rabuka now says his government never thought his "Look North" policy would include illegal activities.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, and the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, have also called for a review of the policy.