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It's a drug route far from international headlines, but its increased use is creating a "David and Goliath"-like problem for police in several Pacific nations, especially Fiji. The island nation lies right at the heart of drug trafficking routes that have seen a remarkable surge in activity.
Ships laden with methamphetamine and cocaine set sail from North and South America, headed to the South Pacific to feed Australia and New Zealand’s drug markets. Hundreds of kilograms of drugs have reportedly ended up on the shores of Fiji and a secondary market has been created, leaving inexperienced law enforcement ill-equipped to contain new and growing threats created by addiction and violence.
The lure of the drugs business in Fiji has drawn some fisherman away from their trades, and without proper rehabilitation facilities, government agencies admit they are effectively “two steps behind” the drug gangs.
In this episode, The Stream looks at how countries like Fiji have become critical stops along drug trafficking routes, and asks what can be done to address the problem.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Kate Lyons @MsKateLyons
Reporter, The Guardian
Jose L Sousa-Santos @JLSousaSantos
Managing director, Strategika Group
Satyendra Prasad @sprasadfj
Fiji ambassador to the United Nations
Cocaine used as washing powder: police struggle with Pacific drug influx - The Guardian
The Pacific is in danger of becoming a semi-narco region - The Guardian
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