17 Jun 2004

Fiji police focus on gang targetting Indo-Fijians

5:16 pm on 17 June 2004

Fiji police have mounted a special operation in a bid to catch a gang of armed men robbing Indo-Fijian businesses and homes.

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the gang of masked indigenous Fijians are carrying out home invasions armed with cane knives and robbing supermarkets and service stations.

He says the gang is a major concern.

"We've got an operation here which is called Operation Strikeback, which is targetting armed robberies, or robberies of violence and violent home invasions.This is their top priority at the moment, is to capture this gang."

But Mr Hughes believes the robberies are not racially-driven.

He says indo-Fijians are being targetted because they run most of the businesses in Fiji and have perceived wealth.

And he says people are one and a half times more likely to be robbed in Australia or New Zealand than in Fiji.