9 Jan 2006

Fiji police commissioner says govt is NOT arming his men to take over military

2:37 pm on 9 January 2006

Fiji's police commissioner says comments that the government is arming police to take over the military is absurd.

The police have just received a shipment of arms, that include 100 glock guns and 25 low velocity tactical firearms.

The military says the government is not giving it the respect it deserves, and has called on the government to come clean on their motive for supplying arms to the police.

It also claims that firearms purchased for Fiji soldiers in Iraq had been diverted.

But Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes says the new firearms are strictly for police only.

"These were not purchased for the military and diverted to the police. These were part of our 2005 budget, a publicly available document, of 350,000 dollars and we are simply upgrading antiquated armoury. There's no sinister motive in it. Why people insist in Fiji on putting police and the military in the same breath is beyond me. We have got to get over that. I mean we should be more aligned with emergency services, like fire and ambulance."