24 Oct 2003

Fiji police officers sentenced for illegal search and robbery

11:35 am on 24 October 2003

The Suva High Court has sentenced two Fiji police officers to three years in prison each for robbery with violence while in uniform and on official duty.

Justice Anthony Gates said the sentences should serve as a deterrent to all police officers who think it appropriate to abuse their uniform and prey on the vulnerable.

Tieri Raitini and Moreti Bula were found guilty of robbing two Chinese nationals who were visiting Fiji in January this year.

The officers took the couple in a police vehicle to an isolated spot where they were strip searched and robbed of fifty US dollars.

Justice Gates said their conduct sends the wrong message to tourists and to Fiji's tourism industry which is trying to attract visitors.