30 Mar 2004

Fiji proposes tough drug laws

4:03 pm on 30 March 2004

The Fiji government is proposing stiff new penalties for the import and export of illicit drugs.

Radio station Legend says under the proposed legislation anyone convicted of importing or exporting of drugs will face a fine of 600,000 US dollars or imprisonment for life.

The law also applies to manufacturing, cultivating, supplying and distributing such drugs and chemicals.

People who knowingly import chemicals for the manufacture of illicit drugs will be liable to a fine of 150,000 US dollars or a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The legislation will also provide powers to the authorities to place tracking devices on any draft or vehicle suspected of carrying illicit drugs.

As well, police will be empowered to tap phone lines to monitor suspects.

The bill will go before parliament next month.