4 Oct 2007

Fiji retailers happy about end of Port Security Unit

4:50 pm on 4 October 2007

Fiji's retailers are welcoming the disbandment of the Port Security Unit despite fears that it may lead to drugs and weapons being smuggled into the country.

The Fiji Sun reports that the military was forced to withdraw the 180 strong unit made up of territorial force soldiers because of a lack of funds.

But the President of the Fiji Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, says that he is relieved the Unit has been demobilized as it was costing retailers time and money.

Mr Lodhia says each inspection cost almost 200 US dollars and goods were often stranded in ports for several days awaiting inspections.

He says that fears that smuggling will increase are unfounded.

"The inspections will still be carried on but instead of every five out of ten containers now it can be one in ten which is quite normal and those are things that will carry on, the security system doesn't change all of a sudden."

The President of the Fiji Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia.