20 Sep 2007

Fiji police launch major operation against gangs

10:17 am on 20 September 2007

Fiji police have launched a major operation to hunt down criminal gangs who are believed to be responsible for the recent spate of violent home invasions and daylight robberies.

The interim prime minister and minister for home affairs, Commodore Bainimarama, expressed his serious concern last weekend about such crimes as well as attacks on taxi drivers and incidents of sacrilege.

The Fiji Times reports that in their latest operation, police are closing in on two gangs which are believed to be collaborating with each other on what, when and who their targets would be.

The police measures include an extra 60 officers drawn from various police units, eight checkpoints at strategic locations and snap roadblocks based on police intelligence.

All motorists traveling through certain checkpoints between 2.00am and 5.00am will be required to stop their vehicles for a search.

The rise in crime has been partly attributed to the failure of the justice system to provide holding cells because most suspects in recent home invasions were on bail when they committed the offences.

Commodore Bainimarama has said earlier that the interim government has received many calls asking for the return of soldiers to roadside checkpoints.