Over 100 bricks of pure white cocaine have washed up on the beaches of Fiji’s islands over the last few months, however the origin as of yet remains unknown.
The Fiji Police Force have urged residents to stay away from any suspicious brown parcels thought to contain cocaine, warning people how opening a package could prove hazardous for their health. Each package reportedly bears the same symbol, which depicts a buffalo grazing in a grassy field.
The packets were first spotted on the pristine beaches of the Lau group of islands, with officers seizing 31 packages containing 40kg of cocaine. Dozens more bricks promptly followed in Bua and Taveuni, with more seen in Yasawa.
Police now believe further packages could have been washed ashore on other neighbouring islands, and are now appealing for information from the general public.
As reported by Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Police Spokesperson Ana Naisoro has given the following advice to members of the public:
We urge members of the public not to try to open because it is dangerous to do so. This is cocaine in its purest form as we’ve mentioned before so their safety is also our concern.
As of this morning, we received information of more discoveries in the Yasawa group and also in the Bua area in Vanua Levu.
So our officers will be sent over to get the packages which will be sent for analysis to confirm whether they are the same. But the Packaging is the same.
The Fiji Police Force have reportedly discovered over 100 brown parcels of cocaine throughout various maritime areas.
The Fiji Times reports police commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, has advised how Fiji and Australian forces are now working together to figure out where the coke is coming from:
So we are working hard on finding the spot where this could have been done… We are working with our Australian counterparts with the capabilities that they have, for us to further investigate that area of the ocean where we think things might have been dumped.
We will continue to do that because our analysis shows, indicates to us, that there’s more [packages] that could be floating out there.
General Qiliho reportedly suspects the drugs had been dumped at sea as far back as one year ago, and had been intended for another location entirely.
A large number of the recovered parcels have been handed to the police by passersby. Investigators have urged other members of the public to act honestly and to contact the police if they discover any suspicious looking parcels.
Members of the public are also advised to use the toll free number 3318 529 should they have made similar discoveries or if they know if anyone involved in selling the illegal drug.
If you want friendly, confidential advice about drugs you can talk to FRANK. You can call 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or email via Talk to Frank 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or Live Chat at Talk to Frank from 2pm-6pm any day of the week.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.