7 Aug 2002

Fiji navy concerned about port security

7:15 am on 7 August 2002

The Fiji navy has expressed concern about the withdrawal of security from ports of entry around the country.

The navy commander, Viliame Naupoto, says the decision has been forced by a lack of funding.

Commander Naupoto has told Radio FM-96 that security is important at the ports because 91 percent of Fiji's trade passes through them with many cargo ships and fishing vessels entering every day.

He says they are now checking many uninhabited islands in Fiji after reports that people smugglers are bringing in illegal immigrants before transporting them elsewhere.

Commander Naupoto also believes that the islands could also be used as transit points by drug traffickers because this has been done in the past.