Suspected marijuana cultivators are using spear guns to shoot down drones used by Police officers to reconnaissance marijuana hot spots, especially in Kadavu, says Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho.
Brigadier-General Qiliho said they had increased their efforts and taken counter measures after the shooting incidents.
He said officers would still fly the drones, but out of the range of spear guns and licensed rifles, to ensure the reconnaissance attempts were not thwarted.
“We will continue with the efforts and now that we know that these farmers are fighting back by shooting down drones using spear guns and licensed rifles, we are taking measures to continue with the raids and given the success of the past few weeks, we are confident that we will be able to counter the attempts of the cultivators,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.
Kadavu, in recent years, has emerged as the marijuana cultivation hub in Fiji. Police have centred more raids on the island than any other districts.
The lure for the quick cash has had farms spring up on the volcanic island south of Viti Levu. All passenger and freight ships inbound to Suva are thoroughly checked with the use of sniffer dogs. This exercise has been largely successful.
The crackdown on marijuana has been successful and over the past four weeks, marijuana, with a street value of more than $86 million, was seized in Kadavu.
This is, according to the Police, the biggest marijuana haul to date.